- The counsel given in verses 1, 2 is by no means easy to follow.
What three sources of help and encouragement are suggested in verses 3-5?
- What does following Christ’s example involve (verses 7-12)?
Why does Paul lay such emphasis on the inclusion of the gentiles?
- What should characterize the Christian church? See verses 2, 5-7, 13.
- How does Paul in verses 15-21 describe his work – in relation to its nature, scope, power and results?
How far is the description applicable to our own work in connection with the gospel
- What matters lay nearest to Paul’s heart at this time, as shown in verses 20-25?
Also, what can we learn about the importance that he attached to intercessory Prayer?
Have we a kindred spirit and outlook?
The epistle from 1:16 onwards has been more like a treatise than a letter. Paul now resumes the epistolary form, and there are many links between this closing section and 1:1-15.
- Verse 16. The figure here is that of the sacrifices of the Old Testament ritual.
Paul’s work was to bring the Gentiles to God as an offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
- The contributions of the Gentile churches to the poor of the church in Jerusalem were the result of much labour on Paul’s part, and he looked for important results in the drawing together of Jewish and Gentile believers.
Cf. 2 Cor. 8 and 9, especially 9:12-15.
- What three main reasons does Paul give in verses 1-7 why it is right to submit to the civil power?
How will this submission express itself in practice?
- What single guiding principle should control the Christian’s life in society? See verses 8-10.
- Verse 11-14. Paul gave in 12:1 one powerful motive for living the life set forth in these chapters, namely, ‘God’s mercy’.
What further motive does he present here?
What will wearing the armour of light mean for you, both negatively and positively?
Note. Verse 2. ‘The state can rightly command obedience only within the limits of the purposes for which it has been divinely instituted – in particular the state not only may but must be resisted when it demands the allegiance due to God alone’ (Romans (TNTC),p. 223-4).
In the second part of his letter Paul now shows what quality of life should characterize those who believe in the gospel as set out in chapters 1-11. The close connection between belief and conduct is emphasized by the significant word ‘Therefore’ in 12:1. See Analysis.
- What should be the believer’s attitude:
(a) to God, and
(b) to the world?
What results should such a right attitude produce?
- It has been suggested that the teaching of verses 3-8 might be summed up in the word ‘humility’, and that of verses 9-21 in the world ‘love’.
How far is this true?
At what points do I particularly come short of these standards?
- Chapter 8 is full of triumphant joy. How, then, can Paul speak of having great sorrow and unceasing pain in his heart? See especially 9:3.
What made him sorrowful?
How much of this Christian joy and how much or this Christian sorrow do we ourselves know?
- Verses 9-13. The question with which Paul is dealing here is: ‘If God rejects those Jews who reject Jesus as Messiah, has not his word come to nought?
For were not the promise (verse 4) made to the Jews?’
How does Paul answer this question?
And what two principles of God’s election does he find in the Old Testament stories of the births of:
(a) Isaac and
(b) Jacob and Esau?
- How does Paul show that in this election of men God retains absolute liberty of action:
- What is the purpose of God’s election, and how do the scriptures which Paul quotes illuminate that purpose? How does this truth concern me?
In chapters 9-11 Paul deals with the great problem of the rejection of their Messiah by the bulk of the Jewish nation, and God’s consequent rejection of them. Two questions arise:
(a) ‘Has God broken his promises?’ and
(b) ‘If not, how are they to be fulfilled?’ Paul answers the first question in chapter 9 and 10, and the second in chapter 11.
(c). without compromising his own righteousness, and
(d). without giving man any just ground for complaint? See verses 14-22. At the same time, observe how Paul lays emphasis on God’s mercy. See verses 15, 16, 23-26