The idea seems to be that faith is the method whereby we receive salvation, whatever aspect of salvation may be in view, and whomever we may be. The NIV interpretation is probably correct: "by faith from first to last. Another view is that "from faith to faith" means "from God's faithfulness to His covenant promises to man's response of faith. Every aspect of God's salvation comes to us only by faith. That is true whether we are speaking of justification past salvation from the penalty of sin , practical sanctification present salvation from the power of sin , or glorification future salvation from the presence of sin.
Trusting God results in full salvation. The words of Habakkuk support Paul's statement.
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Faith is the vehicle that brings the righteousness of God to people. The person who believes the good news that the righteous God has proclaimed becomes righteous himself or herself. The Pharisees, one of which Paul had been, taught that righteousness came through keeping the Mosaic Law scrupulously cf.
The gospel Paul proclaimed, on the other hand, was in harmony with what Habakkuk had revealed cf. Martin Luther wrote the following about this verse:. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the 'justice of God' had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love.
This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven. Many students of Romans believe that Habakkuk is the "text" of Romans, and what follows is exposition of that Scripture text. Thomas suggested the following outline: — the righteous; — by faith; and — shall live. Verses are the key verses in Romans because they state the theme of the revelation that follows. Paul's message was the gospel. He felt no shame declaring it, but was eager to proclaim it because it was a message that can deliver everyone who believes it.
It is a message of how a righteous God righteously makes people righteous. The theme of the gospel is the righteousness of God, and the theme of Romans is the gospel. Next, the universal saving power of this gospel is asserted. Then, the secret of the gospel's power—the revelation of God's righteousness on the principle of faith.
Finally, the accord of all this with the Old Testament Scriptures: 'The righteous shall live by faith. This first section of Romans introduces the subject of this epistolary treatise by presenting the gospel as a message that harmonizes with Old Testament revelation. It is a message that concerns Jesus, the Messiah and Lord. It is a powerful message, since it has the power to save anyone who believes it.
Paul began his explanation of the gospel by demonstrating that there is a universal need for it.
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Every human being needs to trust in Jesus Christ, because everyone lacks the righteousness that God requires before He will accept us. Paul began by demonstrating the need of all people generally Then he dealt more particularly with people who would resist this verdict, namely: self-righteous people — He explained three principles by which God will judge everyone Then he zeroed in on the hardest of all cases: the Jews He answered four objections the Jews might raise to God's condemning them All of this shows that everyone needs to hear the gospel and believe it McGee called this section "sinnerama.
Perhaps Paul began by showing all people's need for God's righteousness first, because he was the apostle to the Gentiles, and his Roman readers were primarily Gentiles. His argument in — moves inward through a series of concentric circles of humanity. Here three bases are stated for His judgment of the pagan world. For suppressing God's truth …. For ignoring God's revelation …. For perverting God's glory …" . In this verse Paul began to explain why Gentiles need to hear the gospel and experience salvation.
Whereas this verse gives one reason, it also serves as a general statement that summarizes human guilt. God has "revealed" His "wrath," as well as His righteousness v.
The moral devolution of humanity is not just a natural consequence of man's sinning, but also a result of God's judgment of sinners. The final judgment of sin will occur in the eschaton end times , but already God is pouring out His wrath against sin to a lesser degree cf. Paul described "wrath" as "revealed from heaven" because it comes from God who is in heaven. We call it 'wrath' because it shares certain basic characteristics of human wrath. But because it is God's wrath it can have none of the sinful qualities of its analogical counterpart. Man's neglect of God and rebellion against God are evidences of ungodliness.
We see it in any attitude or action that is not loving. Together these two words show humankind's failure to love God and other people as we should, which are our two greatest responsibilities Deut.
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Immorality "unrighteousness, wickedness" proceeds from apostasy in doctrine "ungodliness" ; the order of the words is significant. Verses demonstrate man's ungodliness, and verses show his wickedness.
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The "truth" refers to truth that people know about God cf. They suppress this truth by their wickedness. Some drown its voice by rushing on into their immoralities; others strangle the disturbing voice by argument and by denial. Even if someone acknowledges God for who He is, he still does not honor God as much as he should. Every person suppresses the revelation of God, and approves of those who practice evil, to some extent. Some people are more ungodly and unrighteous than others, but all are ungodly and unrighteous. Paul was not referring to the truth that man has been able to discover through various disciplines of study e.
What God has revealed about Himself in Scripture is "special revelation. He stopped, and sweeping his hand toward the stars, said, 'Gentlemen, you must get rid of those first! Four things characterize this revelation. First, it is a clear testimony; everyone is aware of it "it is evident [plain]". Second, everyone can understand it "being understood through what has been made". We can draw conclusions about the Creator from His creation. Third, this revelation has gone out "since the creation of the world" in every generation.
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Fourth, it is a limited revelation, in that it does not reveal everything about God e. If God's divinity is shown in creation, his full deity or divine essence theotes is embodied in Christ Col. Natural revelation tells people that there is a Supreme Being, and it makes man responsible to respond to his Creator in worship and submission. That is why everyone needs to hear the gospel. Paul did not explain exactly how God reveals Himself in nature, and there have been three popular explanations. One is that He left behind clues or "tracks" in creation from which everyone can reason that there is a Creator.
Another explanation is that God personally reveals His presence to everyone through the medium of creation. Still another view is that everyone has a vague awareness of God, because we recognize that we are finite creatures living in a contingent world. None of these views is demonstrably certain, and all of them have problems. More than one may be true. Finite understandings cannot perfectly know an infinite being; but, there is that which ['in part'] may be known. When people reject truth, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to recognize and receive truth.
The pull is downward. Of course this contradicts all the anthologies of religion that start with man in a very primitive condition as a caveman with very little intellectual qualities and move him up intellectually and begin moving him toward God. This is absolute error. Man is moving away from God, and right now the world is probably farther from God than at any time in its history. Mythology and idolatry have resulted from man's need to identify some power greater than himself and his refusal to acknowledge God as that power.
Men and women have elevated themselves to God's position cf. In our day, humanism has replaced the worship of individual human leaders in most developed countries. Man has descended to the worship of animals as well cf. This is perhaps more characteristic of third-world countries.
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Yet they set God aside, the while using 'nature,' which for them is the artificer of all things, as a cloak. They see such exquisite workmanship in their individual members from mouth and eyes even to their very toenails. Here also they substitute nature for God. Note the allusions to the creation story in the threefold division of the animal kingdom in verse Certainly there have been a few individuals who have responded properly to general revelation, when enabled by God's Spirit to do so.
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