Romans Outline - Jan 16
Romans background and outline.
V3 says: Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. – 2 big life changing concepts: FAITH and JUSTIFICATION
What is faith?
Schoolboy definition – faith is believing things which are unlikely to be true – the less likely they are to be true, the stronger your faith and the strongest faith of all is believing something which you know cannot be true!
Contrast this definition with that of John Stott:
Faith is not burying our head in the sand, or screwing up ourselves up to believe what we know is not true, or even whistling in the dark to keep our spirits up. On the contrary faith is reasoning trust. There can be no believing without thinking.
Which is a more Biblical definition?
Read: Hebrews 11 v 1-6
The story which Paul uses to illustrate ‘justification by faith’ is of Abraham and it is worth reading the following 2 passages since stories may help more than definitions.
Gen 12 v 1-5
Gen 18 v1-15
Look Gen 18 v14 and Romans 4 v18-21– which of the 2 definitions above does it fit more with?
Where else is this phrase seen in the Bible?
Jeremiah 32 v17-35
Is faith something we do or God does?: Have faith in God equals reckon on the faithfulness of God v21,22?
Do we think of Abraham as our father? V16-17, v23
What was it that enabled Abraham to believe in God. What enables you to believe in God. How does faith grow?
Attributes of God which engender faith: power (17) and faithfulness (21)
It has been said that all our psychological problems and hang ups come from one thing: guilt.
Justfication is the Christian antidote to this. How does it work?
God justifies the wicked – v 5 – how? How is that just? Remember Romans 3 v23-26
Vocabulary of salvation: law, transgression, wrath replaced by promise, grace and faith
Look at the attached sheet for slightly different take on what justification means from Tom Wright and John Piper.
Does this have any practical significance for us?
One of Tom Wright’s argument was that the gospel was a route out of racial/religious elitism (eg circumcision was the badge that you were ‘in’ not outside the covenant) rather than out of self righteous moralism – are we in any danger of modern versions of racial/religious elitism?
How is justification more than being declared innocent?