This week I have been reading through the book of Romans with my son. I have found myself repeating a phrase to really get the idea into his mind. It comes from the first chapter in verse 5. Here is the prologue in its entirety:
Rom. 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
Rom. 1:7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The phrase is this. “That Christ delivers rebels and brings us into his kingdom that we would be obedient and no longer rebellious”. We struggle as we work to be obedient and are no longer slaves to sin but have power over sin through the gospel (1:18).
I think this is an important idea to understand about Romans. Christ brings reconciliation between rebellious citizens and their King. Now as we are members of the kingdom of heaven, we are called to a renewed obedience to our Sovereign.
Paul writes the epistle of Romans wanting to make sure that we understand two things.
- The law for Christians reminds us how to respond to God’s kindness (2:4).
- The law is not obeyed for salvation; only faith in Christ brings salvation (3:25).