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Romans - Lesson 20

Introduction to Romans 5-8

This lesson on Romans 5 – 8 reviews concepts like justification and the tension between present reality and future hope in Christ. Understanding your identity in Christ shapes your actions and perspectives, fostering confidence in God's work despite present challenges. Dr. Moo's discussions highlight the transition between chapters and the significance of language shifts, guiding you to embrace both your changed identity and the hope for future transformation in Christ amidst life's trials.

Lesson 20
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Introduction to Romans 5-8

Romans 5 – 8 Introduction

A. Therefore, a Dividing Line

B. How do You Identify Yourself

C. How Does God View You

D. An Inclusion – Confidence in Glory

E. What is Justification?

F. We have a Hope in Christ


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  • 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.

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 
Romans 
nt620-20 
Romans 5 – 8 Introduction  
Lesson Transcript

 

Romans 5 – 8 Introduction

Romans 5:1 

​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.

 

A. Therefore, a Dividing Line:

Alright, let’s make the transition into the next section of Romans now. We will talk about Romans 5 – 8 and experience tells me that we going to get bogged down here. We start talking about Adam and original sin, baptism and being dead to sin and the law in Romans 7 and the Spirit in Romans 8. Everybody has an opinion and interest; we will spend a lot of time talking about this stuff. There is a lot of really rich and important theology here.

Just a preliminary note, let me ask you to get involved in discussion a little bit. I have just mentioned Romans 5 through 8. That implies I am putting something of a dividing line between chapters 4 and 5. Why am I doing that? Is it fair to do that? Do we have a shift in the argument between the end of 4 and the beginning of 5? Why might it be fair to think that is what is going on?

Comment: 
I think one key word is “therefore.” It seems like he is building an argument in 1 through 4 and then he says, therefore, as though he were making an argument.  He has built his base and now he is going to build upon that base.

Dr. Moo:   
Yeah, but you have a ‘therefore’ for instance, in 4:16 as well. It is the therefore by itself?

Comment: 
“Therefore being justified by faith”

Dr. Moo:  
Yes, the “therefore” combined with and that kind of looking back. 

Comment:   
Would the “therefore” connect with 23 to 25 of chapter 4?

Dr. Moo: 
This is always a question when we have one of these connecting words.  When we have the “therefore” in 5:1, how much does it go back to? That is always hard to say when we don’t have any clear specific link that the text gives us. This is where we have to become very careful readers of Scripture, asking questions like that. Therefore, in light of what Paul has said and is beginning to say, what is the connection.  If you are saying the “therefore” could just be drawing conclusions of what Paul has said and it doesn’t need to signal a big change or shift.  

Comment: 
Do you ever see a difference in intensity between oun as “therefore,” or dia

Dr. Moo: 
Not really. It is very hard to come up with a consistent way in which some of those words are used. No, I don’t think so. It would be nice if we could. So, (student) has suggested this “having been justified,” signals a move to a different focus now. Anything else? 

Comment: 
I think it may reflect that he has an argument that he is trying to make, convincing. It’s a strong statement about our peace, etc. – it’s through our Lord.

Dr. Moo: 
So, it’s another argument that Paul needs to bring in at this point. 

Comment:   
It is kind of like he has established the basis, and now, so what?  What does it mean for you in a practical way?

Comment: 
He makes about 11 affirmations in those first 11 verses.  That base is being justified, and then he builds 11 affirmations on those, on that one base.  

Dr. Moo:   
Yeah, again, spell it out. What does it mean to be justified, what are the benefits? What are the implications of that?  

Comment:   
I think it was you in your commentary that said that verses 1 and 2 in chapter 5 are a sweeping summary of the first four chapters.  He has now built his case, and like (student) said, we’re going to change gears now and talk about what all this means.

Comment: 
[unable to hear] Position or standing, at least. Almost like he is solidifying his standing. Where are we? 

 

B. Our Identity in Christ:

Where are we located now? Who are we? What is our identity? That is why Romans 5-8 becomes so rich and so significant. It is one of the great passages of Scripture that helps Christians identify who they are. There is hardly a more fundamental question that we can ask, hardly a more fundamental point we can proclaim. It’s basic to everything else; who am I? It is an exercise that we try to go through. I’ve been in a lot of churches, where my pastors have confronted the people: When people ask you who you are, what do you say? What is your self-identity, really, fundamentally within? Do you identify yourself because of your vocation or family status or the sports you enjoy? Do you identify yourself as Christian and if so, how do you see yourself as a Christian? 

How you view yourself has a tremendous impact on how you live. If you view yourself as someone who is capable and strong and skillful, you are going to be a confident person. But if you view yourself as someone who is weak and timid, then you are going to have a hard time maybe making a success of yourself in life. It is similar in the spiritual realm; if as a Christian, you are viewing yourself in a certain way; you are going to act in a certain way.

So, what we have in Romans 5 – 8, among other things, but I think really fundamentally, is Paul’s attempt to shape how Christians view themselves in a really basic fundamental way. If we understand it, it gives us a platform to become the people of God, God wants us to be. 

There is kind of a negative point to make about the transition here also. It is rather striking that when you turn the page into Romans 5, you find that Paul almost drops entirely Old Testament quotations. These have been pretty constant in the earlier chapters here. But now beginning in Roman 5:1, you have very little explicit quotations of the Old Testament. You obviously have Paul talking about Adam and the giving of the Law; so, the Old Testament is still involved in that general way. But there is a shift in the focus in the way Paul is arguing that we find here at chapter 5:1 also. 

As you will know from the commentary again then, I do see chapters 5 – 8 to be a significant section of the letter, but we have to be careful about drawing these lines too heavily. Paul is not thinking in some of the outlines we use. 

Vocabulary is interesting here; there tends to be a new focus on some other words, particularly the language of “life” and “live.” The verb “believe” becomes much less common now. We still have language of “right” and “righteousness,” but as we are going to see, that language tends to be used with a different meaning now. So, even though you have the same word, the word tends to have a different meaning.  This is reflecting what I have in the commentary as well. 

 

C. An Inclusio – Confidence in Glory: 

One of the reasons it makes sense to view Romans 5 – 8 as a section of Scripture that has its own integrity, is because it makes sense when you look at it that way. There is a coherent argument.  There is a bit of what we call inclusio; I’m sure some of you have heard that word being used. (We always want to use fancy words from Latin if we can, because that makes what we’re doing sound a lot more important.) 

The inclusio device is a common device in Scripture where you begin an argument at a certain point, and you end the argument in a similar way. In 5:1-11 and 8:18-39 function as an inclusio in this way.  These passages are making very similar arguments as we will see. They focus on future glory that we can be confident about having as Christians. We can be confident of that glory because of God’s work for us in Christ and the gift of His Spirit. We can also be confident of that ultimate glory, even in the face of suffering. Both of these paragraphs are making that same point. 

A little less obvious, I have to admit, moving inward a bit, is the relationship between the end of chapter 5 and beginning of chapter 8. As we will see, the end of Romans 5 talks about how we who are in Christ, can be confident of this glory. This future that is promised to us is something we can look forward to with assurance because we belong to Christ. In a general way at least, that is what the beginning of Romans 8 is about as well. 

Then at the inside, Paul talks about a couple of challenges to this idea of our confidence. How about sin and how about the Law? Do they challenge this confidence Paul is talking about? So, he talks about those two matters within that text. 

So, again, what I am calling the bookends to Romans 5 – 8, the beginning of 5 and the end of 8, God’s love, God’s justification, the work of the Spirit are working through and in our sufferings to bring us to glory. I think the over-arching theme of Romans 5 – 8 is the theme that because we have been justified by faith in Christ, we are people who are confident of ultimate glory. This argument was probably important in a Jewish setting, also.

 

D. Justification, the “Already,” and the “Not Yet”

The Jews view justification as something that was going to happen on the last day. We talked about the final aspect of justification earlier. In the Jewish view, justification was entirely a “not yet” experience. It was on the Day of Judgment that every human being would appear before God to be either condemned or justified. 

Paul now, in proclaiming the Gospel, says in Christ we can be justified right now, the moment you believe, in this present life. But one of the questions that naturally arises there is how can we tell a person is justified, and how about the final judgment, Paul? Don’t we still have to face God at that time? Paul implicitly says, yeah, we do. But we can face God on that last day with confidence because of what He has already done for us. 

It is one of those fundamental questions of the Christian life, isn’t it? We talk about how wonderful it is to belong to Christ; we emphasize the importance of conversion, of placing faith in Christ, becoming a child of God. We see that happen very often. A person does that and they have some joy in that but then suddenly they discover that their conversion has not freed them from their temptations. They are still struggling with the sin they struggled with before they were converted. They become converted and they suffer; they have a physical problem; they have an economic reverse; and they wonder about this because they are now Christians. 

Romans 5 through 8 is the place where we have a central biblical text that is talking about this in between stage of Christian existence, the contrast again between the “already” and the “not yet.” As a believer, I look back to the Cross as the point where I have decisively been changed and moved into a new life. But my old life hasn’t ended. A lot of the baggage that I accumulated in my old life I bring with me into the new life. Most of us experience that. When we became converted, some of the sins we struggled with before we were Christians didn’t just disappear. Those temptations didn’t just go away and that is because there is another work God yet has to do in our lives. We are looking forward to the return of Christ and being raised with Him to enjoy life in a new body, a resurrected body where indeed our sin and my trials will be a thing of the past.

 

E. Hope in Christ: 

In the meantime, I live with one foot, in a sense, in both camps; I truly belong to God, my new life is basically who I am, but the old life continues. 

When Paul is asked the question who am I as a Christian? Paul wants to say on the one hand, I am a person who has been decisively changed, but I am also a person who is yet looking forward to a time when I will be ultimately and definitively changed. 

Let me suggest that we probably deal with Christians all the time who make the mistake one way or another, who put so much emphasis on the “already” that they struggle to live in this actual world. And others who put so much stress on the “not yet” that they don’t appreciate all the benefits that they do enjoy. 

One of the things in a very broad sense that we can do is to help our people understand who we are. Don’t be surprised at your suffering, don’t be surprised that you are still tempted by sin because of the “not yet,” we are not there yet. But as you struggle and as you go through these problems, don’t forget the “already;” don’t forget whom God already has made you. You are His child, you are reconciled, you are justified, and because of that you have confidence for ultimate glory. You may be going through tough things, but don’t let those dim your hope that is solidly grounded in what God has done for you.