Summary of Romans

Summary of Romans

                Paul writes a series of letters to the Roman church and begins by introducing himself as an Apostle whose mission was to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles. Paul explains that he wants to one day preach in Rome. Paul explains that Salvation does not just come through Faith in Jesus Christ, explaining how Gentiles worshipped idols, forgetting about God, and how Jews failed to follow the law with hypocrisy, ultimately sinning.

Paul teaches that salvation from sin is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ. This faith in Jesus Christ means becoming one of His disciples. If we become a disciple of Jesus Christ, we also become disciplined to follow His commandments. The free gift of grace is unearned and undeserved. However, Grace is FREE, that Grace opens the door. Salvation comes through obedience to the Laws of the Gospel, which permits us to pass through the door. Because of the fall of Adam, we had no way to return to God, but through the Grace of Jesus Christ He gave us a way to return. However, we still must do our part to accept the Grace of God, this includes faith in Jesus Christ and a devotion to following ALL of His Commandments.

Paul explains the importance of Baptism, that it is a symbolic “death and resurrection” to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. It is truly the death of the sinner and the rebirth of those who receive a proper baptism. Christians, then, must guide their lives by righteousness, not by sin: righteousness alone will lead to eternal life.

Paul finishes up his letters to the Romans by advising them on the proper way to live a Christian life. Paul discusses and urges; Harmony, humility, love, charity, forbearance, and submission. Paul commands tolerance and freedom within the church. Paul explains that the strong in faith are not to judge and reject the weak in faith. Finally Paul concludes by sending greetings to a long list of people in Chapter 16, and ends with greeting the entire church.

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Romans 16

Romans 16: The Church of Christ Salutes…

                Paul commends Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cechrea. Paul also sends greetings to a number of people and households by name; Priscilla, Aquila, Epaenetus, Mary, Andronicus, Junia, Amplias, Urbane, Stachys, Apelles, the household of Aristobulus, Herodion, the household of Narcissus, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, Philologus, Julia, Nereus, and Olympas.

Paul reminds the saints in the church to; “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” (Romans 16:1) Paul encourages the members of the church to “…mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18) Paul makes it clear that those who disobey the commandments of God and have no desire to do good, should be noted, and shouldn’t be associated with. Evil men exist that have the desire to deceive the hearts of the naïve, or otherwise easily persuaded people.

Paul wants the Saints [the members] to be “…wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” (Romans 16:19) Meaning that we need to be wise and know what is good, but be simple, like a child concerning good from evil.

Romans 15

Romans 15: Fellowshiping…

Paul reminds the Saints in the Church that those who are strong, need to lend a hand to those who are weak; “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.” (Romans 15:1-2) But we learn that we don’t lend a hand to please ourselves or anyone else. We don’t do good for praise. We do good, for the sake of doing good. We are supposed to edify and uplift each other up. Being strong, can mean being physical, mental, emotional or spiritually strong. Those who lack in those areas, need to be edified.

Paul explains that what the prophets wrote of old is for their learning; “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) The writing he was referring to was the Old Testament, because the New Testament was happening at that time. This goes to show that revelation is constant and having an open Canon of scriptures is important for Revelation. The Old Testament doesn’t lose its value when introduced to the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon does not discredit the Old or New Testaments, but constantly builds on each other… with one end goal; to believe on Jesus Christ and receive our Eternal Salvation.

Paul sums up what we must do to fellowship one another as believers of Jesus Christ; “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7)

Romans 14

Romans 14: Every Knee Shall Bow to Christ

                Paul explains that we need to avoid conflicts and unrighteous judgment among each other. He explains that; “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Romans 14: 8-9) So, no matter what, we are the Lord’s. There is no point to argue and fight amongst each other, for when the time comes we will ALL be called back to God to be judged.

Paul urges the Saints to avoid judging one another, and in today’s modern world we can learn by this as well. Paul wrote; “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:10-11) Lets think about this, why judge someone? Jesus made it clear when he said; “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1) It is not our place to judge ANYONE! Judgment is left to God.

Paul reminds us that in the end we will only have ourselves to prove before God at Judgment Day. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Romans 14:12-13)

The Kingdom of God embraces righteousness, peace and joy. We need to have faith and sin not.

Romans 13

Romans 13: Keep the Commandments

                Paul explains that every soul is subject to a higher power; therefore Governments also derive their authority from God, and must therefore be obeyed. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe “…in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” (Articles of Faith 1:11)

Essentially, Paul explains that all Christians should do good to their fellow man, be righteous in upholding the law and the commandments, through obedience. Love your neighbor and let the saints cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.

Romans 12

Romans 12: Do Good, Not Evil

Paul explains that we need to be above the world; “…be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable… not to think of [yourself]more highly than [you] ought to think…” (Romans 12:2-3) Paul urges the Saints to be humble. Paul explains that just as the body has many members, so does the Church of Christ; “… as we have many members in our body… all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ…” (Romans 12:4-5) This means that the Church has offices, and these offices come by Authority (See Organization of the Church – Ephesians 4:11-15)

Paul’s Wisdom

                Paul leaves the Saints in Rome some great Wisdom, that can also be applied in the Modern World;

                “Let love be without dissimulation [concealing thoughts]. Abhor[hate]  that which is evil; cleave [hold on] to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21)

Romans 11

Romans 11: The Olive Tree

Paul asks the question; “…Hath God cast away his people?” (Romans 11:1) Paul answers his own question by exclaiming that He does not. Paul then goes on to explain that God had a specific purpose to fulfill in allowing Israel to stumble,  so that salvation would come to the Gentiles.

The Olive Tree

Paul explains how Israel is the root of a tree, whose branches can be removed or grafted on. God’s plan for Israel includes a future Restoration. God’s love and calling for Israel to come unto Him and to believe on His Son, still continues. Essentially, the Olive Tree can be grafted or dug about to remove the bad branches and add good branches. This is a metaphor for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His believers, and how the Lord can clean up His vineyard by casting away the bad branches. The Gentile Christians came from disobedience; yet God showed them mercy, in part through the disobedience of Israel. God is full of wisdom and knowledge, Paul exclaims: “…how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord?” (Romans 11:33-34)

In the Book of Mormon (Jacob 5) we learn more about this Olive Tree:

Jacob quotes Zenos about the allegory of the tame and wild Olive Tree. The Olive Tree in the Lord’s Vineyard is like Israel and the Gentiles, the scattering and gathering of Israel… the Gentiles will be grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel.

In this chapter (which is super long), we learn about the Lord’s Vineyard… which we can liken to missionary work…

                “And the Lord of the Vineyard caused that it should be digged about, and pruned, and nourished, saying unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, that perhaps I might preserve the roots thereof that they perish not, that I might preserve them unto myself, I have done this thing. Wherefore, go thy way; watch the tree, and nourish it, according to my words. And these will I place in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, withersoever I will, it mattereth not unto thee; and I do it that I may preserve unto myself the natural branches of the tree; and also that I may lay fruit thereof against the season, unto myself; for it grieveth me that I should lose this tree and the fruit thereof.” (Jacob 5:11-13) God wants his servants to work hard, so that they will not lose one soul or “branch” of the Olive Tree.

                “Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all fruits. Wherefore, let us got to and labor with our might this last time, for behold the end draweth nigh, and this is for the last time that I shall prune my vineyard. Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last…” (Jacob 5:61-63) This really shows the importance of Missionary work in the last days, God will prune his vineyard one last time before his second coming… and it is the responsibility of the members of the church and the full time missionaries to teach the truths that we know to the world… we must labor diligently and with all our might… this last time.