Romans - Lesson 21

Class Discussion on the Introduction to Romans 5–8

This lesson is a discussion on the last lesson on Romans 5-8.

Lesson 21
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Class Discussion on the Introduction to Romans 5–8

Discussion of Romans 3:27-4:25

A. Student Observation

B. A Balance is Required

  • 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.

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 on the Introduction to Romans 5-8  
Lesson Transcript


Class Discussion on the Introduction to Romans 5-8

Student 1: 
That is one of the biggest struggles we have in the Wesleyan Pentecostal: that struggle between the old man and the new man.  A lot of classical Pentecostals would say once you’re saved, you’re free from sin; and being free from sin means you don’t sin anymore, like perfection.

Dr. Moo: 
And if you do sin?

Student 1:   
You’re lost.

Dr. Moo:  
Or you don’t really belong? Would that be the…? I don’t know your tradition that well, so you’ll have to inform me. 

Student 1: 
John, when he wrote First John, he was clear that if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.  He knew that as long as we’re in the flesh, we’re going to struggle.  That is something that I’ve really had to teach my folks i my church, the fact that yes, we are free from sin, but it not the end all, be all to solve everything. You are still going to have struggles, you’re still going to have temptations, you’re still going to stumble from time to time.  It’s like when I was in my Master of Divinity program, Dr. (x) wrote a thesis on “the problem of the painless Pentecost,” how the beginnings of the Pentecostal movement were trying to stay pain free; they focused on the results rather than what got the results. 

Dr. Moo:   
That is an interesting observation.

Student 2: 
The problem was that most of the songs in that early time dealt with ‘when I get to heaven I will be through with my troubled and trials.’  As though this is something we’ve got to ignore while we are looking for the city to come. We are looking for the sweet by and by, but we have the nasty now and now to deal with. 

Question from one student to another:   
How do they recover when they sin then?

Student 1: 
Now, the consensus is now that sanctification is at salvation and progressive.

Dr. Moo: 
So, you do have a sense of definitive sanctification as well as progressive.

Student 1:   
We are not perfect. 

Student 3: 
I am not Pentecostal, but Wesleyan in background and it’s that thing of balance again.  I can see where we can get into libertinism of: you’re saved by grace, do what you want; or this false perfection that says, I am now saved so I don’t have to worry about stumbling anymore.  It is a balance. I think the modern Pentecostal Wesleyan movements have achieved more of that balance, at least I hope we have, than we did for a while.

Student 5: 
I talked with a Nazarene minister and he strictly curtailed, boxed sin in as strictly conscious sin. There is no such thing as an inadvertent or no such thing as an unconscious sin. That’s the only way you can bring this off as far as I can tell or even get close It just has to be a lawlessness, a transgression, consciously done.

Student 4: 
That’s not what Wesley taught. 

Student 5: 
Yeah, but that’s what he was saying.

Dr. Moo:  
I am not a Wesleyan scholar, but I know there is some controversy about what Wesley meant when he talked about perfection. 

All of these things are terribly relevant to what Paul is doing here. Whatever tradition we come from, and I’m not suggesting any of us abandon the traditions we come from but trying again to maintain the balance of what Paul is presenting here as far as who is the Christian. Adjusting again our understanding to what Paul is teaching so that we can help our people have a good solid genuinely Christian self-identity. I think that is so fundamental to what is going on in the Christian life. You can tell people kind of in a moralistic way, do these things, or don’t do those things. That goes just so far, but unless people take this on board and become changed within in their perception, it will all be kind of superficial. 

Student 4: 
You have these roots, this is so practical, these roots are in the church.  In a sense of saying we came from this mold, you didn’t get it like I got it, so you don’t got it. That’s bad English, but. But you come back to these things.  People are able to revisit, painfully sometimes, but they are able to revisit and say, that isn’t quite as bad as I thought, 

Dr. Moo: 
It can be hard to give up that sometimes.  All of us have very deep emotional ties, particularly to those situations in which we were converted. That is there and we have to recognize that; I think in pastoral wisdom says try to build on that as much you can rather than scorning it or being condescending about it, if the background isn’t all it could have been. 

Student 5: 
Do you have a quick sketch of what you think sin is? I mean like a quick definition? 

Dr. Moo: 
I just wrote an article on sin and Paul for a book that Crossways is publishing. It took me about twelve thousand words. I don’t think you want to hear that! 

Student 5:   
I’ve always considered it something like, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, even taking it to the point of substandard human good or substandard perfection. Do you look at it as strictly something conscious and rebellious, or do you look at it as including omission? 

Dr. Moo: 
No, I do think sin is a pretty broad thing. I don’t think it is the worst thing in the world to go to Romans 3:23 where Paul unpacks it there: sin means falling short of the glory of God. There are expectations God has for us as people created in His image. We sin when we fail to do what God wants us to do as much as we do when He tells us not to do. Most Christians don’t operate with that other category. 

Sin, for a lot of believers is, I did something that clearly God doesn’t want me to do. I entertained this lustful thought and that is wrong. But we don’t maybe significantly operate enough with “I didn’t confront my neighbor with the Gospel when I needed to; that was a sin of omission; I failed to do something that God was calling me to do. 

Without depressing people unduly, I really think that is one of the problems we face is that people don’t have a solid enough estimate of how serious sin is, how all-encompassing it is, how many different ways it manifests itself. It is only when we fully confront that sin in that sense that we realize that we really do need Christ. People really begin to reckon with how tough a road it is. 

I think it was Pascal who said, it takes grace to turn a sinner into a saint. People who don’t believe that don’t know either what a sinner is or what a saint is. I think there is a lot of truth in that.  We don’t realize the extent and the seriousness of sin on the one hand, and we don’t realize what the high calling is to be a saint on the other hand is.