Vol.XIV No.III Pg.2
May 1977

Introduction To "Romans"

Robert F. Turner

Beginning with this issue, we will use the center spread for a series on the Roman Letter. I have attempted to reduce Paul's letter to direct statements and bite-size arguments, hoping this will assist in the study of that complex epistle. 'The seriousness of the undertaking, and my own inadequacies, team up to give me the "willies," but it seems a needed effort. 'There is a revival of interest in the Roman letter — no doubt the result of the so-called "grace-fellowship" movement, and neo-Calvinistic studies. We welcome more serious Bible study, for whatever cause, and this is but a meager contribution.

PAUL, TO THE ROMANS is in no sense a translation. It is not even a loose rendering of the text. It is simply what one man believes Paul is saying. No effort is made to repeat all of Paul's thoughts. We limited ourselves to the main arguments, chapters 1-11. The King James version was used as chief guide, although the American Standard, Marshall's Literal English, and various word studies were freely applied. No effort was made to follow any commentary. For better or worse, these are my own conclusions.

The Roman Letter is amazingly complete. Paul does his own explaining, if we will give him half a chance, so I have tried to state Paul's material without distracting notes. Perhaps in the future this can be published with special attention given to cross-reference within the letter; then a secondary reference made to Galatians, Philippians, and other places where Paul discusses these same matters. The series should take three issues.

The Roman Letter says: (1) Mankind is Lost in Sin. We have individually sinned, despite opportunities to do better. God judges us individually, in keeping with our deeds. He is Just in condemning each of us. (2) Law is Not the Remedy. It emphasizes man's failure. Right doing can not correct wrongdoing. (3) God's Plan for }Ian's Rightstanding is one of Grace. It was promised through Abraham. It was perfected in Christ's death, and resurrected life. Its operation is forgiveness, the fruit of love and mercy. (4) "The Condition is Whole-Hearted Faith. Man must individually give himself, his heart, his spirit, unto God in complete trust, in order to benefit from God's offer. Obedience "from the heart" must be manifested both in coming to Christ, and in living unto God. (3) God's Grace is Extended Invitation to ALL Men. The true "Jew" is the individual, Jew or Gentile, who submits himself to Christ. Paul deals repeatedly with Jewish misunderstandings, and Jew-Gentile problems, which this principle evokes.