Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion ClassNew Testament: RomansWeek 23, Page 2
b)The question Paul is grappling with is how to deal with the fact that the early Christianchurch was becoming dominated by Gentiles. Did this mean that God had abandonedIsrael, his covenant people? Or that his plans had been thwarted? Not at all—Paul setsout to demonstrate that God’s righteousness is evident in his acceptance of the Gentiles(chapters 1–8), and that inclusion of the Gentiles does not invalidate his covenant withIsrael (9–11).c)The phrase “from faith to faith” (εκ πιστεως εις πιστιν /
ek pisteOs eis pistin
) in 1:17 isdifficult to interpret.i)Many Protestant Christians who believe in the doctrine of
(“faith alone,” which we discussed last week)
believe it refers to exclusive requirement of faith onthe part of human beings.
ii)But recall that Greek word πιστεως (
) can also mean “faithfulness” (as it doesin its next appearance in 3:3). In the context of 1:17 it seems more likely that Paul issaying that God’s faithfulness is recognized
by or through
human faith—in other words, when we exercise faith, God’s faithfulness in fulfilling his covenant isrevealed.
1:18–8:39. Romans can be divided into three sections. The first begins in the middle of chapter 1 and runs through the end of chapter 8. In this first portion Paul writes aboutGod’s righteousness in the way he has justified and reconciled all mankind—Jews andGentiles.a)1:18–3:20. Paul first makes the case that human beings are generally wicked and unjust,even though they innately know that God exists and doesn’t want them to do such things(1:18–32). To Jews who would argue that they’re okay because they have God’s law, Paultells them they haven’t kept it, so they’re not in a position to condemn others (2:1–3:20).Therefore “both Jews and Gentiles…are all under sin” (3:9). b)3:21–31 are the capstone of Paul’s introductory argument, and the heart of his letter:Here Paul restates the theme he introduced in chapter 1—the righteousness of God.
KJV Romans 3:21–26NRSV Romans 3:21–26
But now the righteousness of God withoutthe law is manifested, being witnessed bythe law and the prophets;
But now, apart from law, the righteousnessof God has been disclosed, and is attested bythe law and the prophets,
Even the righteousness of God which is byfaith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon allthem that believe: for there is no difference:
the righteousness of God through faith inJesus Christ for all who believe. For there isno distinction,
For all have sinned, and come short of theglory of God;
since all have sinned and fall short of theglory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace throughthe redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
they are now justified by his grace as a gift,through the redemption that is in ChristJesus,
Whom God hath set forth to be apropitiation through faith in his blood, todeclare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearanceof God;
whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective throughfaith. He did this to show his righteousness,because in his divine forbearance he hadpassed over the sins previously committed;
See lesson 22, pages 4–5;
Hence the evangelical Protestant NIV translates it as “faith from first to last.”
© 2011, Mike Parkerhttp://bit.ly/ldsarcFor personal use only. Not a Church publication.