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Romans 10: A Rationale for Soul Winning

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.” So Paul opens the tenth chapter of Romans after lamenting his Jewish brethren’s blind adherence to the law of Moses and rejection of faith in Christ. In this text we find for ourselves a plan for soul winning. Consider the following words and phrases and how each can help us be better soul winners. “My” – Indicates the individual’s responsibility to win souls. The…

Romans 9: What shall we say then?

A long-time friend and I were discussing God’s sovereignty and how it is manifested in the salvation of men’s souls. He is an ardent Calvinist and I, of course, am repeatedly on record as being an anti-Calvinist. (Note! This does mean I am an Arminian or a Pelagian, but enough of that for now.) As he pressed his argument for hard determinism (God predestined everything that happens and man has no libertarian free will), he said, “I can’t believe you…

Romans 8: All things work together for good

Romans 8:28-30 has been a source of theological controversy for nearly five centuries. Many volumes have been written and much preaching and debate has arisen as men seek to impress their views of the text. I would not be so foolish to think I could solve the matter in this five-hundred-word forum. So, I will focus on a single phrase that has unnecessarily caused great distress among professed believers who have no interest in Reformed theology. Romans 8:28 has been…

Romans 7: Ditch that Dead Husband

In extolling the superiority and exclusivity of the gospel of Christ, Paul compared the Law of Moses to a dead husband. While a woman may have once been married to her husband, when he is dead that bond is severed so that she may marry another without being an adulteress. In like fashion, Paul continued, the Law of Moses was to the Jews as a dead husband. Being freed from that law, they were free to be married to another,…

Romans 6: Swerving Down the Roman Road

“When a man drives down a road full of potholes in the dark and never hits a single one, you know that he knows where the holes are.” So said Alan Highers at the Freed-Hardeman Lectures a number of years ago, speaking about baptism in John 3 and how deftly denominational teachers managed to avoid it. In like fashion, no one who promotes the teaching known as “the Roman Road to Salvation” manages to travel through chapter 6. They can…

Romans 5: Sola Fide and Total Depravity

In the margin of his Bible next to Romans 1:17, Martin Luther drew a line from the phrase “the just shall live by faith” and wrote the word “sola,” a Latin word meaning one, only, or alone. It was his conclusion that man was saved by faith alone without any response to God on man’s part. In his own translation of Romans, Luther added the word “alone” to the text, (though it is nowhere to be found), making the text…

Romans 4: Abraham believed God

Abraham is known as “the Father of Faith.” His fidelity to God is legendary among Bible believers. Today’s text contains a statement that is often misused concerning Abraham and his righteousness before God, specifically verse 3, “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” To many, this is the “sugar stick” verse to teach salvation by faith only without any response of obedience by man. However, to use this verse in…

Romans 3: In case I missed anyone

Romans 1 was a blanket indictment of the sins of the Gentiles provoked and unrestrained by their reprobate minds (vv 18-32). Romans 2 showed the Jews’ manifold moral failures and hypocrisy “hidden” under the cloak of the Law. Anticipating an objection from the Jews regarding Paul’s perceived disrespect for the Law, the apostle reassures them of their place in God’s plan, for unto them was committed the oracles of God (vv 1-2). But from there Paul goes on to note…

Romans 2: You who teach another

Romans 1:18-32 is a summary judgment against the Gentiles. In legal terms, a summary judgment may be issued when it is obvious there is no need to go to trial. Either the evidence is totally lacking and the case without merit, or the evidence proves a case on its face. In Romans 1, the unrighteousness and vile conduct of the Gentiles was evident to all so as not to warrant a defense. In Romans 2, Paul turns his attention to…

Romans 1: Reading Romans Rightly

As we enter a reading of Romans, I am first reminded of the propensity of many to read this epistle as if it is the centerpiece of all biblical literature. This is a serious error. There is nothing more to Romans than any other inspired literature. Also, many read and “interpret” Romans as if Jesus never said or taught anything. Much of what is written of Romans in common theology contradicts many of the clear teachings of Jesus. While some…