Introduction to Romans

Video Lectures

Displaying all 30 video lectures.
Lecture 1
Introduction to Romans
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Introduction to Romans
This is the first of a series of short lectures originally prepared for seminary students in the rural Philippines. It will summarize the major themes of Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome in a collection of 30 presentations, each about 30 minutes long. This lecture introduces the career of the apostle Paul, and gives something of the historical setting for his writing.
Lecture 2
The Universal Knowledge of God (Rom. 1:18-32)
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The Universal Knowledge of God (Rom. 1:18-32)
Before the 'good news' of Romans can make much sense, it is important to have some idea of the 'bad news' of the human situation. According to the Apostle Paul, God has revealed his existence and his character to the human race, and people are therefore inexcusable for failing to acknowledge God and worship him. According to the Apostle, instead of gratefully recognizing the truth of God, people exchange that truth for a more comfortable lie, engaging in a sustained denial of what is quite evidently the case. In a kind of poetic justice, God gives people exactly what they want, allowing them to become slaves and addicts to the very objects of their idolatrous passions.
Lecture 3
Knowledge of Certain Judgment
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Knowledge of Certain Judgment
In the first half of Romans 2, Paul makes the case that people not only know there is God, but know that this God will judge the human race at some point. Paul's proof for this idea relies on the fact that human beings are incurable moralists, subjecting one another to relentless moral examination and judgment. This betrays their knowledge that judgment is coming, and shows at the same time that they know the standard by which the judgment will be imposed.
Lecture 4
If you call yourself a Jew... (Romans 2:17 - 29)
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If you call yourself a Jew... (Romans 2:17 - 29)
Paul turns his attention to fellow Jews beginning at verse 17 of chapter 2, arguing that they also have been the recipients of God's revelation, and in their case, that revelation was much more precise and complete. Nevertheless, Paul argues, they have also rebelled against the truth of God's law, and incurred God's just wrath. All of this will lead to the inevitable conclusion that the entire human race is 'under sin,' guilty, and in need of salvation.
Lecture 5
There is none righteous (Rom. 3:1-20)
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There is none righteous (Rom. 3:1-20)
The 'bad news' of the book of Romans concludes as Paul argues that every human being, regardless of whether Jew or Gentile, falls under the just condemnation of God for their disobedience to the law of God, a law known by all people, though known to a varying extent. By showing the universal guilt of humankind, Paul has prepared the way for the universal need for the gospel provided through Christ, a discussion that follows immediately.
Lecture 6
But now!
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But now!
Most commentators concur that the heart of Paul's letter to the Romans is found at chapter 3:21-26. Here Paul lays out the central content of the gospel, and in many ways the remainder of the book represents the apostle's efforts to unpackage the implications of that short text.
Lecture 7
Abraham and the Nature of Faith (4:1-12)
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Abraham and the Nature of Faith (4:1-12)
Chapter four of Paul's letter to the Romans takes up the critical question of faith. Paul has announced that a person is put right with God by faith...but he has not yet explained what faith is. We might have some intuition of the answer, but Paul does not want this important matter left to a hunch. Rather he tackles the discussion, using the greatest hero of faith in history, Abraham, as his example.
Lecture 8
The Elements of Faith (4:13-25)
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The Elements of Faith (4:13-25)
The Apostle Paul has ruled out certain ideas that are not to be confused with faith, as he uses the term, and now he turns our attention to the character of true faith, again using the patriarch Abraham as his prime example. From his discussion, it becomes apparent that faith is a strong conviction, mixed with deep affection for and trust in God. Such faith is a human experience, but can only be properly accounted for by tying it to the grace of God, its proper cause and its genuine focus.
Lecture 9
Having been justfied, we have...! (Romans 5:1-11)
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Having been justfied, we have...! (Romans 5:1-11)
Having established the principle that justification is by faith alone, Paul now moves to a discussion of the benefits that flow immediately from that great truth. He summarizes the topic in three points: first we are at peace with God, and live in His favor; second, we have ready access to the grace necessary to help us in our time of need; and third, we live in a robust hope of coming glory. Our understanding and conviction of these blessings is deepened by the hardships of life, and together it all proves in practical experience that God indeed loves those whom he has justified, a proof most powerfully demonstrated in the message of the Gospel.
Lecture 10
Original Sin
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Original Sin
In the last half of Romans 5, Paul takes up the thorny question of 'original sin,' that is, the effect of the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This complex section of his letter outlines the tragic consequences of the Fall, but also contrasts those consequences with the redemptive work of Christ, the one who came as another 'Adam,' the last Adam, and the sole hope for recovery from the ravages of sin.
Lecture 11
Dead to sin..Alive to God (Romans 6:1-14)
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Dead to sin..Alive to God (Romans 6:1-14)
Beginning in Romans 6, Paul treats the question of Christian growth in grace, a topic commonly called 'sanctification,' or the process of becoming 'holy.' The process is only possible because, through Christ, the Christian has died, and is thus freed from the prison of 'original sin,' which was treated in chapter 5.
Lecture 12
Antinomianism (6:15-21)
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Antinomianism (6:15-21)
In his treatment of Christian sanctification, Paul turns to the first of two distortions, common known as 'antinomianism,' a kind of disregard of moral obligation in the Christian movement. While various forms of antinomianism have recurred throughout Christian history, Paul disposes of the error in a brief and powerful analysis in this short text.
Lecture 13
Legalism
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Legalism
The process of Christian sanctification must avoid both the peril of antinomianism, as Paul makes clear in Romans 6:15ff, and also the opposite danger of legalism, the topic the apostle takes up in Romans 7. This summary of the first six verses of Romans 7 treats this important topic.
Lecture 14
I Cannot Do What I Want (7:7-25)
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I Cannot Do What I Want (7:7-25)
Having treated the problem of legalism, Paul turns to a practical discussion of the effect the follows from lapsing into the legalistic mentality. It inevitably produces the frustration of a conflict between the virtuous desires of the mind, that seem always to succumb to the not-so-virtuous desires of the body. In this well-known text Paul describes in painful detail the sorry condition of one who attempts to live a righteous life but lacks the fortitude to do so.
Lecture 15
Set Free! (8:1-17)
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Set Free! (8:1-17)
Paul turns his attention to the great themes of sanctification in chapter 8. In this text he treats the principle of liberty and the practice of liberty. We have been set free, and because of this, it is possible to engage in the disciplines intended to lead toward holiness and life.
Lecture 16
If God be for us...(Romans 8:17-39)
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If God be for us...(Romans 8:17-39)
Romans
Lecture 17
They are not all Israel...(Romans 9:1-13)
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They are not all Israel...(Romans 9:1-13)
This presentation covers the first half of Romans 9.
Lecture 18
What if God...? (Rom. 9:19 - 29)
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What if God...? (Rom. 9:19 - 29)
Discussion of Romans chapter 9.
Lecture 19
A Zeal for God (Romans 10)
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A Zeal for God (Romans 10)
Romans
Lecture 20
Has God cast away His People? (11:1-12)
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Has God cast away His People? (11:1-12)
In light of the fact that the gospel received a much more favorable reception among the Gentiles than the Jews of the first century, Paul raises the question whether God has permanently rejected the Jewish people now that we are in the New Covenant era. Paul dismisses this suggestion, hinting strongly that a time may come when great numbers of Jewish people will come to faith in their true Messiah.
Lecture 21
And thus all Israel shall be saved (11:13-36)
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And thus all Israel shall be saved (11:13-36)
Paul continues his discussion of the status and prospects for ethnic Israel. Though they have largely rejected the gospel, God has preserved them through history, and Paul implies that there will come a time when great numbers of Jewish people will recognize their Messiah and come to him by faith.
Lecture 22
Present your bodies...(12:1-8)
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Present your bodies...(12:1-8)
In this final major section of the book of Romans, Paul turns to the practical application of the great principles he has announced. His initial instruction that we should "present our bodies" as living sacrifices is followed by a summary of gifts in the church.
Lecture 23
Let Love be Genuine... (12:9-21)
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Let Love be Genuine... (12:9-21)
Paul expands the scope of his ethical instruction, moving from the fellowship of Christians within their community of faith to the wider civil community. There, Christians may be subjected to abuse and misunderstanding, but are nevertheless called to respond with grace, love, and forgiveness.
Lecture 24
The Powers that be (13:1-7)
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The Powers that be (13:1-7)
As Paul continues to explore the practical aspects of life in the community, he turns to the relationship Christians should maintain with civil authority, giving one of the most important treatments of the subject anywhere in the Bible. Authority is to be respected and honored, but never at the expense of conscience.
Lecture 25
Love Fulfills the Law (13:8-14)
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Love Fulfills the Law (13:8-14)
Paul's treatment of practical Christian ethics reaches its heart with this summary of the great principle of the New Testament, that love is the sum and substance of all that the law requires. Paul shows that the love inspired by grace will fulfill all the Law's conditions and much more.
Lecture 26
Each will give an account of himself (14:1-12)
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Each will give an account of himself (14:1-12)
The Apostle Paul now takes up the matter of how Christians should deal with matters of "opinion," that is, matters in which there may be legitimate differences among believers. His counsel suggests that Christian people should show deference to one another in matters of lesser importance, recognizing that in some things there may be disagreements that cannot be resolved with finality.
Lecture 27
The Content of the Kingdom (14:13-23)
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The Content of the Kingdom (14:13-23)
Paul continues his discussion of practical Christianity, pointing out that the most important priorities for believers come down to the weightier matters of God's law, rather than side issues of less importance.
Lecture 28
I will praise you among the Gentiles (15:1-13
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I will praise you among the Gentiles (15:1-13
As Paul begins to conclude his great summary of the Christian faith, he returns to the central theme of the book, and shows his readers that Christ came to fulfill great promises to bless the Gentiles, as promised in the Old Testament.
Lecture 29
No more place in these regions (15:14-33)
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No more place in these regions (15:14-33)
As Paul nears the conclusion of his great epistle, he mentions his hope to visit the Roman church, and from there to proceed further west to bring the gospel to Spain. If he did did make that journey, it would represent a fourth missionary excursion in addition to the three that are detailed in the Book of Acts.
Lecture 30
Final Greetings (16)
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Final Greetings (16)
In the concluding chapter of the book of Romans, Paul sends greetings to many friends and acquaintances in the Roman church, indicating how much he had been helped and encouraged by people of whom we have little information, but who played a strategic role in the formative years of the Christian movement.