ROMANS

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:4    who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

    This is part of the introduction by Paul to the Romans. According to Paul, Jesus became [was declared] the Son of God, not by His miracles or teaching, but rather by His resurrection from the dead. He got this information from the Holy Spirit, who also is Jesus Christ. This final point may be confusing, but when I think of Paul's conversion, it makes sense. (DRM 7/17/05)

1:5    . . . through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake,

    This is part of the seven verse introduction sentence to the book, as written by Paul. (v. 1)
    Paul received apostleship because he met Jesus Christ. Paul's mission was to bring the gospel to the Gentiles where the others felt their "call" was the Jews.
    Each of us also have been called to tell others of His love - no matter what our background is. (DRM 7/17/11)

    In verse 5, Paul's motivation is to bring glory to God. This is a good reminder to us: when we go to God in prayer for the things we think we need, our prayers should be motivated by the desire to bring glory to God, not just for our own personal needs and wants. (Word of Life diary)

1:7    to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The first seven verses are generally a greeting that I think outlines who is writing this letter and who it is addressed to.
    As Christians, we, like the people in Rome, are considered "saints." At least in my church that only means we are trusting in Jesus for eternal life - not that we are "special." (DRM 7/20/08)

1:12    that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.

    Fellowship with other Christians is very important to me, and I need constant encouragement from others.
    I am looking forward to my spiritual growth, so I may also be an encouragement to others as they begin their walk with the Lord. (DRM 11/14/86)

    Many aspects of life should be "two-way streets" where there is mutual sharing. Christianity is no exception. As Paul wrote here to the Romans, he mentioned how he prayed for them and hoped to visit them soon to encourage them and for them to encourage him. Sharing our faith benefits both people. How I would like to do that! (DRM 7/18/05)

1:13    I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles.

    When Paul wrote this he had not yet visited Rome, so wrote this letter to the church there in advance.
    While Paul was a Christian speaker (v. 15), he also wanted to learn from the people in the church there.
    Every person is different, God made us that way, so we have unique life experiences and that includes what we learned from preachers in our churches and our personal Bible studies and other Christian books and materials. Why learn all this and not share what we learned with others - Christians and non-Christians alike? (DRM 9/6/16)

1:16    For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    I think this is a motivational verse. Paul was stating in v. 15 that he was preaching to people in Rome, and here he was stating that he was bold in his proclamation. I think he wants all who read this verse to be motivated to do the same - which I know I need more help on! (DRM 7/21/08)

1:17    For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."

    The third word, it, refers to the gospel (v. 16). God has revealed His thoughts through the gospel, the Bible, showing He has faith - and hoping to produce faith in us from its reading and understanding.
    This is another way of telling me that all of the Bible is God's Word, and He wants our faith to grow by reading and understanding it. (DRM 7/18/11)

    Verse 17 is quoting Habakkuk 2:4, a verse quoted three times in the New Testament, each time with a slightly different emphasis. In Romans, the emphasis is on the righteous man. (Word of Life diary)

1:18, 19    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

    God has made Himself known to every person on earth. Only He can make the stars and the moon, the trees, flowers and even (e.g.) our own hands and feet. No one else can do this. Everyone should understand this.
    The people that refuse to believe in God are subject to His wrath based on their unbelief (v. 18). It's hard for us, as believers, to understand how they can miss the obvious evidence of His love and provision.
    What can we do? Our lives should show them that our faith in God is dominant in our lives. We have to show them the difference, then they will ask - why? (DRM 9/3/17)

1:20    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 

    This refers to the ungodly people in the world, the non-believers. [Rather than today's ungodly believers.] The atheists say that God doesn't exist, and this verse answers that. Look at the stars, trees and animals and tell me honestly, Who made them all? The evidence surrounds us. Lord, open their eyes! (DRM 7/19/05)

1:21    For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    This makes me think of people like Charles Darwin who knew God, but did not honor Him, then made up a speculation on how God created the world that was false. With darkened hearts, others followed and God has slowly been taken out of the whole creation scenario.
    There are a few science professors who have turned back and given God glory, but it's disappointing to see how children today are not even given the option that God created us and the world in seven days - as stated in Genesis. (DRM 1/16/12)

    Secularists vehemently oppose intelligent design. Their reasoning is that intelligent design brings a supernatural assumption into the field of science. Ironically, Isaac Newton, the father of modern physics, was a committed Christian who claimed the universe's orderliness came from its Creator. (from Our Daily Bread 1/16/12)

1:22, 23    Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    This immediately made me think of the "science" of today and how these "wise" people promote the THEORY of evolution as if it were fact.
    In their illustrations they show all the creatures that are referred to in v. 23
    Earlier verses in this chapter (v. 20-21) remind us that God created the world and the evidence is seen through "what has been made."
    Today's "wise" evolutionists are missing the obvious - God. (DRM 6/14/13)

1:25    For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen.

    I can think of several examples of non-believers who worship - or care more about - nature, animals, their own appearance - than about God, our Creator.
    Perhaps the point is to worship Him alone, and put the other interests lower on a persons priority list. (DRM 7/22/08)

1:26    For this reason [v. 25] God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for what is unnatural,

    This shows how people can move away from God. They worship creation rather than the Creator (v. 25). The next "unnatural" step is to worship their own bodies or other bodies or things.
    God wants all of our devotion and to worship Him - who is higher than creation. (DRM 7/19/11)

    In verses 26-27, Paul condemns lesbian and homosexual sexual activity, arguing that it is not natural, not inborn, and not a normal physical activity. (Word of Life diary)

2:3    But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

    Everyone is a born sinner. If I deny this, I deceive myself. When I condemn or pass judgment on others, don't I deserve the same condemnation for my sins? How am I different from them?
    I am different because the Holy Spirit in me convicts me of sin, then I repent of my sin and try not to go back to it. This can be difficult as we are all born with a sin nature. (DRM 7/20/11)

2:5, 6    But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:

    Who is Paul writing to here? While he is probably writing to the church in Rome, in this verse he is writing about unbelievers - the unrepentant.
    This is a warning about future destiny. The unbelievers will see the wrath of God, and those that repent and follow Him will not suffer His wrath in the days to come. I decided on the second choice. (DRM 7/23/08)

2:12, 13    For all who have sinned without the Law will perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13for not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

    This is a tougher one: Non-believers have sinned without the Law [Jesus] in their heart will die without Jesus or seeing Heaven. Believers who sin, will be judged by God and must depend on Jesus. Hearing the Law [i.e. Ten Commandments] does not make a person a believer, but people who do the Law [trust in Jesus] will be saved. The Law seems to have different meanings here. (DRM 7/20/05)

2:21, 22    You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? 22You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

    The first word that came to my mind was hypocrite. There are recent examples in the Christian church of teachers who have fallen because of this text. How can I (we) keep ourselves pure? Like Paul would state elsewhere, not to keep on sinning, but to be totally sold out to only Jesus, stay in His Book, and associate primarily with other Christians. (DRM 7/24/08)

2:25    For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

    Circumcision is generally a physical act that your parents decided soon after you (male) were born - as a sign that you will follow God's Law.
    A man who follows God's Law and is circumcised is good, but if he doesn't follow God's Law, it's not going to have any benefit. Your ultimate destination depends on your decision to follow Jesus, not what your parents decided when you were born. (DRM 7/21/11)

2:28, 29    For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. 

    I have been told that Christians are "spiritual Jews." Maybe that's why we have so much in common in our beliefs. The difference seems to be our attitude - mostly about Jesus. These two verses define to me what a "spiritual Jew" should be, and the differences. I have always liked the Jewish people and pray that they come to know their Messiah. (DRM 7/21/05)

3:3, 4    What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, 

    God is faithful to all people. He is present everywhere and loves us all, believers and unbelievers. Since He knows the future, He knows who will be believers and live with Him in Heaven, but we don't know who He has chosen. He is faithful to everyone - like rain and sunshine. Our job is to share His love to others - with the hope that they also will trust in Him. (DRM 7/22/05)

3:5    But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)

    By nature we are sinners, not perfect or righteous. God is perfect and righteous. If He chose to allow a disaster, through His wrath, He has a reason that we aren't aware of. That doesn't mean He is an evil God, but that He knows what is best for the future, and this "disaster" will lead to His glory later. (DRM 7/25/08)

3:6    May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?

    This refers back to verse five. God is righteous. We are unrighteous sinners. By inflicting wrath on the world, God is showing His righteousness and His desire to have people change their evil ways and follow His way. (DRM 7/22/11)

3:9    What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

    God loves us all equally - but totally. While he wants everyone to know Him, He also knows who will follow Him at the end of their lives and come to Heaven. Those of us who have trusted in Christ aren't any "better" than unbelievers, as we all sin. The difference is that we have asked Christ to forgive us for our sins and they haven't yet. Our job is to convince them that they need to ask Jesus to forgive them - and set them free. (DRM 7/23/05)

3:10    as it is written,"
            "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; . . .

    This part of Romans 3 is a series of quotes from the Psalms and Isaiah.
    This first one reminds me (us) that we are all born sinners. No matter what I do or say, I can't change that. The only way to please God is to accept His Son as a substitute for my sins and depend totally on His blood - shed for me on the cross at Calvary. (DRM 7/23/11)

3:11, 12    THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
                 THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
              12ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
                 THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
                 THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

    The cross-references for these verses are {Ps. 14:1-3, 53:1-3}.
    Apparently Paul found some select phrases, not verses, to quote in these verses as I just looked up the cross-references.
    The non-believer clearly is not useful to God. They don't seek for God, they don't pray to God, nor do they believe that He can help them in their lives.
    While I won't agree that none does good, the good they do is not in direct service to the Lord God.
    Still, they CAN receive salvation and change their ways. (DRM 3/2/13)

3:17, 18    . . . AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN."
                    18"THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES."   {from Isaiah 59:8 and Psalm 36:1}

    Earlier in this chapter, Paul asked what the benefits were for the Jews?, then pointed out that "they were entrusted with the oracles of God (v. 2). "
    Still, the Jews or anyone else would not be admitted to Heaven without trusting in Jesus.
    The series of quotes from verses 10-18 point out that without God=Jesus people are evil (v. 13) and will not have peace with others or God Himself.
    No matter who you are, no matter what your background, we must trust in Jesus as Lord. (DRM 5/30/17)

3:19    Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

    I am guilty, you are guilty, we all are guilty of breaking the Law of God. Even if we don't care about the Law, we are guilty in God's eyes thus accountable to Him. This is really to be kept with v. 20, to make a whole statement. We (I) need a Savior to pay for my sin of breaking the Law. (DRM 7/26/08)

3:20    Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. 

    A person can not be righteous or have eternal life by just observing what they hear or see in a church. We must accept Jesus Christ in our heart and not just listen to others speak of Him. By accepting the Holy Spirit in our lives, we become conscious of our sins and then should try to overcome these sins to become more like Jesus ourselves. (DRM 1/9/87)

3:21, 22    But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; . . .

    This is the beginning of a long complex sentence reminding us how we receive salvation/righteousness.
    We receive righteousness apart from the Law or Ten Commandments. It is by grace that we have been saved. The people (Prophets) of Old Testament time apparently witness how we receive our salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus.
    There is no distinction on who can receive Jesus as Lord - the rich or the poor. The door is open to all to put their trust in Him. (DRM 7/31/16)

3:23    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    This is part of a five verse sentence, but a thought that I hope can be explained separately.
    No one is exempt from sin. We were born with it. If we live with this sin, and don't repent, we will not be accepted by God. The only way to satisfy God is to trust in the Lord Jesus to be our substitute; covering our sins. (v. 24-25) (DRM 7/27/08)

3:24    . . . being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

    This is the middle part of a complex sentence with lots of theological words.
    Jesus died for our sins. By our acceptance of His gift, we are given God's grace for future sins - so long as we confess them to Him and try to avoid repeating them. We are not to keep on sinning, but attempting to be as sinless as possible. God=Jesus understands that we are human and make mistakes. He wants us to follow His direction and not our own. (DRM 6/8/12)

    Today's passage is saturated with theological terminology. Paul comments on the topics of righteousness, redemption, faith, propitiation, and justification, all within eight short verses. This passage places two of the most significant words in Christianity in direct relationship to one another: justified and faith (vv.24-25). The hinge point between these two is Christ Jesus' blood. We are justified through faith in the blood of Jesus, whom God sent as a propitiation, or appeasement, for the just penalty our sins deserve. Our salvation is affected by God's initiation and demonstrates His righteousness. (vv.25-26) (from Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT, 6/8/12)

3:25    . . . whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

    This is near the middle of a complex statement of six verses.
    While my definition of the word propitiation is not fully accurate, I use the word substitution for it to make sense to me. When Jesus died, He gave His blood=life for my sins as a substitution so I would be allowed into Heaven. I have to accept His gift - where He "demonstrated His righteousness" because God has required our faith in this act for our salvation.
    The last words note that Jesus died for our "sins previously committed," and we need to confess our sins committed SINCE the day of our conversion to God and try to turn from our sinful ways. (DRM 12/13/15)

3:26    . . . for the demonstration, I say, of His [God's] righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    This is a difficult paragraph (Rom. 3:21-26) to explain. The beginning of this sentence is in the middle of v. 25.
    God is righteous and wants us, as believers, to also be righteous. To obtain righteousness, we have to accept what Jesus did in His death on the cross for our sins. Jesus justified us before His Father, God, so long as we have faith in Jesus trusting that His (Jesus') death covered our personal sins.
    After this faith is determined, we have to repent of our sins and give them to Him - and try to sin no more. (DRM 7/31/13)

3:27    Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

    We can't/shouldn't boast of our salvation in the Lord Jesus - because we didn't do anything to deserve His gift. It was His grace that made us part of His kingdom - not works that we did/do. It is not the result of keeping any laws (God's laws or mans laws), but truly a gift for those who have faith in the work that Jesus did by dying on the cross and rising again after being dead for three days.
    Thank you God, for Your indescribable gift! (DRM 11/19/12)

3:28    For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

    The Law I think of as the Ten Commandments and perhaps the other 600 rules in the Old Testament. We can try not to break the Law, but it's impossible. Even Jesus had a problem with #3 or #4 [Sabbath] in healing someone. Since we can't keep the Law, we have to depend on God in faith for His provision. God provided Jesus to be a substitution for our not obeying the whole Law. Our faith in Jesus as intermediary is the only way to get to Heaven. (DRM 7/24/05)

3:29    Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

    Our God is not the Jewish God. God created the Heavens and the Earth, and ALL that was and is on the earth. He's not just for one group and not another.
    I worship the God who created me. (DRM 7/24/11)

3:31    Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

    Should we ignore the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law in the Old Testament? No! According to this verse our faith doesn't nullify the Law.
    The purpose of the Law to Christians is to point out our sins and convict us spiritually. In this way we know that the only way to Heaven is through the redemptive blood of Jesus.
    Our faith is in Jesus. He saved us by what He did. We still sin, we need a Savior. The Ten Commandments point out our sins. Our faith is in Jesus. (DRM 12/19/16)

4:1, 2    What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

    Abraham was considered the father of our faith because he believed what God told him would happen in his later years. What he did with Hagar was not God's will, but rather waiting for Sarah to be able to have a descendant (Gen. 21:1-2).
    The works of Abram and Hagar did not produce faith, but God saw faith through Sarah's son - and patience.
    Like Abram/Abraham, we need patience at times to live our faith. Going ahead or doing works for God does not achieve salvation. Only faith in the Lord and what Jesus did by dying or our sins - will receive salvation. (DRM 7/21/17)

4:3    For what does the Scripture say? "AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

    This section is dealing with faith and how we can't earn God's favor by our works. The works that I do are not to obtain salvation or faith, but rather an act of appreciation of what He has done for me [grace] over the years. A person, like Abraham, who trusts in God totally, is considered to be righteous. (DRM 7/25/05)

4:4, 5    Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, . . .

    When we are employed, we receive wages/payment for services completed. We are not doing this work as a volunteer or as a favor to the other person. Spiritually speaking, we get no benefit from works performed before salvation, we can't earn our way to Heaven.
    When we don't work, we have to depend on others. Since we can't work to earn our way to Heaven, we have to trust in Jesus. Those who put their faith totally in Him are considered righteous in the eyes of God and will be a part of His Kingdom. That's something to be happy and excited about! (DRM 9/30/16)

4:6    just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

    No matter how many good works you do, that won't get you to Heaven. We can't earn our way to the Kingdom. The only way to enter is to put complete trust in Jesus, and what He did to cover our sins.
    I think of a righteous person as one that has faith in the Lord Jesus. (DRM 7/25/11)

4:11    and he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be that father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,

    Abraham was a righteous man. As a result of his righteousness, God was able to use him. Like baptism for us, circumcision for Abraham was an outward sign of an inward desire to follow the Lord. Circumcision is not required for salvation, and all who are circumcised will not go to Heaven unless they are "born-again" from faith in Jesus. (DRM 7/28/08)

4:13    For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    If we were righteous based on how we followed the Law, or the Ten Commandments, it would be a "works" salvation. The Law shows us all that we can't keep God's Law, and that we need faith in Jesus to be the intermediary between our sins and God's requirement - (DRM 7/29/08)

4:14, 15    For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.

    The Jews are those "of the Law." If just following the Law, and having no faith in Jesus, a person would not get to Heaven (v. 14). If you don't follow the Law, as Jews, then wrath would come upon you.
    Those without the Law (non-Jews) aren't subject to God's wrath, as they aren't aware of the Laws being broken, or have placed their faith in Jesus - who has fulfilled the Law's requirements for us. (DRM 7/26/11)

    Circumcision doesn't save, nor does the Law of Moses (vv. 13-15), because only faith in God saves. (vv. 16-25) (Word of Life diary)

4:16    For this reason, it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all,

    We are saved by faith through God's grace. Abraham was promised to be the heir of the spiritual world, but that doesn't give all of his descendants (Jews through the Law or Moslems through Ishmael {Gen. 17:20}) the promise of Heaven.
    The way to Heaven is only through faith in Jesus and His death for our sins. People who are descendants of Abraham must have faith in Jesus. Being a descendant doesn't guarantee a place in Heaven only faith in Jesus.
    Thankfully, Christians, who are not physical descendants of Abraham, are spiritual descendants! (DRM 11/25/14)

4:18    In hope against hope he [Abraham] believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."

    In this chapter, Paul was pointing out that Abraham was not justified by works (v. 2), but by faith.
    No matter what Laws we keep, like the Ten Commandments, or anything else, we may try to do to please the Lord (e.g. good works), these things will not admit us to Heaven when the time comes.
    People today who spend their time working on various acts of kindness will not get to Heaven unless it is a result of their faith and thankfulness to Jesus for His death and resurrection for our sins. Only God knows peoples' hearts.
    Abraham believed in God. We have to believe totally in Jesus. (DRM 1/11/16)

4:19    Without becoming weak in faith he [Abraham] contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;

    Apparently Abraham had doubts before he had faith. When he was told he would be the heir of the world (v. 13), he had to grow in his faith.
    At first he tried to do things his own way, then was corrected and learned to depend on the Lord - who fulfilled His promise in His timing - not Abraham's.
    This is an example for me - that God has a plan (even if I don't know what it is yet) and I am to submit to His rule, His timing, His way - and not my own. When He is ready, all things will work out and then He will receive the glory. (DRM 3/6/15)

4:20    yet, with respect to the promise of God, he [Abraham] did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,

    Abraham and Sarah were both nearly 100 years old when God started their family. When they were told to expect this, at least Sarah thought it was humorous, but still they had the faith to believe that God could do it. This really encourages me, as I do believe that the Lord has a big project for me. Hopefully I won't have to wait until I'm 100 to begin! (DRM 7/26/05)

4:21, 22    . . . and [Abraham] being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    God made promises to Abraham that he "would be heir of the world" (v. 13). Abraham had to choose to believe God could do it or not, as he was about 100 years old (v. 19). Abraham chose to trust in God and shows us the faith he had.
    Abraham was the heir of the spiritual world - Jews and Moslems, but not the physical world of non-religious people. Christians are grafted into the Jewish line by Jesus who died for our sins and Whom we put our trust.
    Yes, we can trust in God's promises. Abraham is one of our examples, there are many more. (DRM 10/31/14)

4:23, 24    Now not for his [Abraham] sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

    Abraham had faith that God would do what He said He would do. Like today, it seems impossible to have a new baby at the age of about 100 (v. 19), but if God said He would do it, God would do it.
    The key word in verse 24 is believe. Abraham believed God could do it. We (I) also must believe that God will do something special in our lives. God raised Jesus from the dead, and He will also do that for us - IF WE BELIEVE He will.
    Faith must be sustained, no matter what. (DRM 10/25/13)

4:25    He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

    In the previous verse (v. 24) the topic changed from Abraham to Jesus, so this clearly refers to Jesus.
    God had decided that the human race needed a Savior to deliver us from our sins - transgressions from His given Law.
    Jesus purpose on earth was to die (delivered over) for our transgressions. After His death, He was raised back to Heaven to be with His Father, God. He had fulfilled his task and justified our entrance to Heaven by dying for our sins. We believe this through faith. (DRM 3/31/14)

5:1, 2    Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

    This may explain how I became a Christian. When I received a clear presentation of the Gospel, I acted by committing my faith solely to Him. He then justified {declared righteous} me.
    Since that day God has given me peace and assurance that I belong to Him and His Kingdom. This peace and assurance is a result of His grace.
    With time, I continue to hope for His glory - His soon return - or future home with Him in Heaven. (DRM 11/23/11)

    But "having now been justified by [Christ's] blood" (v. 9), and having been "reconciled to God through the death of His Son" (v. 10) "we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (v. 9) From Our Daily Bread, Sim Kay Tee, 11/23/11

5:3, 4    And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope;

    Personally, I have been lacking income for several years now. While there are different types, it's a type of tribulation.
    With my tribulation (above), I have persevered and, hopefully, gained knowledge and character. I still have hope for the future as I feel that God has great plans for the future.
    Hopefully if you go through a time like I have, you will not lose faith, as the Lord Jesus has a plan for each one of us. (DRM 3/31/12)

5:5    . . . and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    My life is based on hope.  I continuously hope and pray for different things. (e.g. health and finances)
    No one knows the future except the Lord God. He knows which of our hopes will come to fruition and when. Since some of them DO come to pass, I (we) are not disappointed and are able to keep our faith.
    According to this verse, hope in God is given to us by the Holy Spirit, thus that proves that His Holy Spirit dwells within us at conversion. (DRM 8/26/12)

5:6    For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

    We were all born sinners - even as a baby we wanted things "our way" and not God's way. No matter if a person accepts Jesus' gift of salvation at the age of 4 or 90, we were helpless in our sin before knowing Christ.
    Jesus came at the right time in history - before billions of people were born, so we could be told of what He did for us. (DRM 7/30/08)

5:7    For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

    I think the point of this verse is that people don't normally die for other people. If a person is a God-fearing righteous man, then it is expected that God will take care of him. If not, (good), then this verse states that someone may die for the sinner. Jesus died for our sins, and trusting Him shows faith that will bring us (me) through the greatest trial of all. (DRM 7/27/11)

5:8, 9    But, God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 

    Verse eight is a verse that I recall memorizing in Navigators. It's a clear and important part of our need to trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation. Today, verse nine seemed as important to me. Jesus' blood - death was for my sins, and that includes past, present, and future - as I ask for forgiveness and that I should not continue doing them. The wrath of God = tribulation is coming, and trusting Jesus Christ saves us from going through that. (DRM 7/27/05)

5:10    For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

    Before trusting in God=Jesus for our salvation, we (God and me) were enemies in a spiritual way. We (I) had to "lose" the battle and give our souls to Him.
    At the point of salvation, the battle over, we (God and me) were reconciled because of the death that Jesus gave for our souls.
    Jesus had/has to be the intermediate between God and me - the Savior of my soul. (DRM 1/29/13)

5:11    And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

    Jesus died for our sins (v. 8). We shall be saved from His wrath (v. 9) through Jesus. I believe this is the reconciliation that is given to us as believers in Jesus.
    This verse reminds me that I should exult or praise God, through Jesus, for His incredible gifts of salvation AND avoidance of the wrath to come. (DRM 8/1/12)

5:12    Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned

    We are all born sinners. We received this condition through Adam, the first human man. This is called original sin.
    Since we are born with this condition, our natural end takes us to Hell.
    Thankfully, there is a cure for original sin, and that is what Jesus came for. He was sent by His Father, God, to die for our sins - but we have to accept His gift and repent for all the sins that we've committed.
    Unlike Adam - who passed sin on from one generation to another - Jesus' gift does not pass from one generation to another. Each person has to accept God's gift - Jesus - on their own.
    I did that in 1986. I hope you have or will do that today. (DRM 11/30/11)

5:13    for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    You (or I) can't break the law if it hasn't been written yet. The people that lived on earth before Moses had no law from God to tell if they were doing right or wrong in God's eyes.
    This doesn't mean they didn't sin. I think of Noah and his family - who were considered righteous (Gen. 6:9), and the rest of the world consisted of sinners that were drowned in the flood. (DRM 6/30/12)

5:14    Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

    During the period of time between Adam and Moses, there was no written Law on what was sin. People still died, even without knowing they had sinned. They were sinners because they had inherited the sin nature from Adam.
    Only God knows where their eternity lies, but if they were unaware of their sin, He would take that into account.
    I had to think harder to see how Adam was a type of Jesus and now think that both were born without sin. All other people on earth since Adam have acquired the sin nature as a result of Adam's sin and it was forwarded through the generations. (DRM 1/8/13)

5:15    But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

    The transgression, sin, came from our ancestor, Adam. We had no choice, we were born with it. Thus we were condemned to spiritual death through this inherited sin.
    Jesus' death and resurrection provided the gift of grace to cover this sin. Those who accept His (Jesus') gift become born-again and receive the gift of eternal life with Him. To accept Him, we must repent of our sins and depend totally on Him for all aspects of life. Not many do this. . . it's a narrow way to eternal life with Him. (DRM 5/31/12)

5:16    The gift [salvation] is not like that which came through the one who sinned [Adam]; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift [salvation] arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

    The free gift is our salvation, which is received from our faith in the Lord Jesus.
    Adam, the original sinner, did not give us this gift, but rather the tendency to sin.
    Jesus came to save us from our sins. He came after many people has transgressed the Law that was given (sin). In Jesus we received justification for our sins - salvation.
    Still, a person must accept the gift to receive eternal life. (DRM 5/27/13)

5:17    For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

    "The transgression of the one" refers to Adam, the first human created by God. . . and the first sinner.
    After we accept God's gift; Jesus, God also gives us grace and righteousness should grow within us. All of this is through the One, Jesus Christ. (DRM 7/28/11)

5:18    So then as through the one man's disobedience [Adam] the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One [Jesus] the many will be made righteous.

    I was born with a sin nature. It has come to me from the sin of Adam. Without the Holy Spirit, my nature wanted to do things that were not pleasing to God. For an example, watch any 2, 3, or 4 year old child. Jesus brought the Holy Spirit with Him 2,000 years ago, and gave Him (Holy Spirit) to us at Pentecost. Now, if we ask for forgiveness for our sins, the Holy Spirit enters our lives and we become righteous - but we still sin and need forgiveness. (DRM 7/28/05)

5:19    For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 

    We are all sinners. Through the disobedience of Adam, we all sin. But we can thank our Lord Jesus Christ that He died for our sins and we can be made righteous by total belief in Him and His grace. (DRM 11/22/86)

5:20, 21    The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    The Law was written so we would know our sins before God. No one can obey all the Ten Commandments, so, as we know them we should know of our need for grace provided by the Lord Jesus Christ. The grace of Jesus abounds only if you are aware of it and accept it, but that doesn't mean you should intentionally sin. (DRM 7/31/08)

6:1, 2    What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

    We are born sinners. We can't help that, it's part of our make-up. To go to Heaven, we have to be sinless. The only way to get rid of our sin is through the blood sacrifice of Jesus; whose mission was to die for our sins. We have to accept His gift before we are allowed entrance into Heaven.
    Now that we've done that, do we go on sinning? (v. 1) NO!, our hearts should be changed and our desire is to live for our Savior - just thinking/thanking Him for what He has done.
    The new goal in life is to be as sinless as possible and to confess each sin as the Holy Spirit convicts us of it. Try to stop sinning! It's not easy. (DRM 2/8/15)

    While our brokenness is very real, Christ's grace enables us to live in a way that pleases God and expresses His transforming power to the world. Sin is no longer our boss. We now live in the grace and presence of Jesus. His dominion in our lives releases us from the bondage of sin. Bill Crowder (from Our Daily Bread, 2/8/15)

6:3, 4    Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

    As Christians, we trusted in Jesus for our Saviour. He saved us from eternal death for our sins, but He had to come to earth to literally/physically die for all of humanity that would trust in Him. In this way, we have been baptized into His death.
    When Jesus died, and was buried, we, as sinners, also died with Him (based on our later acceptance of this deed.) When Jesus rose from the dead, He showed us what will also happen to us after our death - again based on our trust in Him. (DRM 8/2/14)

6:5    For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

    This is one of the greatest hopes in the Bible. So long as I (we) are united with Him (Jesus) in faith, when it is time to leave earth, we will be like Him.
    Jesus has showed what happens after death. We have to believe the same will happen to us at the appointed time. (DRM 7/29/11)

    But at the resurrection, the believer will receive his new body with no sin nature. This end of the sanctification process is known as glorification. (Word of Life diary)

6:6, 7    . . . knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.   

    This continues from verse five.
    Here Paul is referring to our spiritual body and not our physical body. We are crucified with Jesus spiritually when we put all of our trust in Him. Our body of sin, when confessed, is forgiven and we can go on living without the fear of past sins. That doesn't mean we should go on sinning (v. 1).
    To die from sin (v. 7) is to give our sins to Jesus - thus we are free indeed! (DRM 4/7/13)

6:8, 9    Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

    (continuing that thought)---> and death will no longer be master over us if we belong to Him!
    This is a basis for my hope in Him, as I know that I will be with Him in Heaven after going through death. . . but what can I do for Him now that I'm still here? How can I ever thank Him for this revelation? (DRM 8/1/08)

6:10, 11    For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 

    Jesus' death was physical, but also spiritual in that He died not for His sins [He had none], but for our sins: past, present and future. His resurrection shows that people who trust personally in His substitutionary death for our sins, will also live with Him, and His Father, God, in Heaven. Someday soon, those who trust in Him will meet Him in Heaven. (DRM 7/29/05)

6:12, 13    Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

    When I/we first trusted in Jesus as Savior for sins, there were sins that we did in our mortal body that we suddenly realized were not pleasing to the Lord God=Jesus.
    The Holy Spirit within us convicted us of these sins, and the desire was to eliminate them and become better instruments for God. This is part of the sanctification process - wanting to do right in service to our King.
    Eliminating sin is a process. As humans, we can't eliminate it all, but instead have the goal to keep trying.
    (While Jesus died for our sin, we shouldn't keep on sinning - depending on His grace.) {1 John 1:9} (DRM 7/7/17)

    [Re: 6:12]    At a point in time a decision was made to trust completely in Jesus for our eternal destiny. This should also carry over to wanting to live for Him and follow His direction while on earth.
    In our desire to follow His direction, we want to be sinless - like He was. He understands that we were born sinners, and offers us forgiveness, but that doesn't mean we should continue to sin, but rather strive to be as sinless as possible. (DRM 6/23/14)

6:15    What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

    Jesus died for our sins. After we confess our sins to Him, He forgives our sins and we can start with a clean slate every new day.
    While we know that Jesus=God will forgive our sins, that doesn't mean that we should go and commit more just because He will forgive them the next time we ask Him to.
    Jesus wants us to try to be more like Him - sinless. The goal each day should be not to sin - sin should be rare in a devoted Christian. (DRM 4/19/14)

6:16    Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

    As Christians, at one point, we said that we would follow Christ, and Christ alone. When He gave us a mission, we were to follow His direction, then do only His will.
    At the point of conversion to being a Christian, the Holy Spirit entered us and His job was to convict us of sin, to hopefully stop us and have us follow His path. No more earthly sinning, as we now belong to King Jesus and want to serve only Him.
    This whole process is called sanctification. It may take years, but we are to try to be as sinless as possible and more and more like Jesus every day. (DRM 3/8/15)

6:17    But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed.

    This refers to the day of our salvation. Before that moment, I was a slave to sin, even though I didn't know it. Then I became obedient to my Master; Jesus from the heart [most important part] and have continued in that teaching which I committed to that day. 
    Listening to the gospel, and going forward without a change of heart, is futile. The change has to occur from within the heart and soul. Thank you Jesus! (DRM 7/30/05)

6:19    I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

    We sin. Probably the member of our body that causes the most sin is the tongue, but there are other parts/members that also cause sin - all controlled by the brain. If our brain/heart is directed on the Lord God, we won't want to sin, we will want to please the Lord and do His will instead of the old nature of sin.
    With the Holy Spirit in us, as Christians devoted to Christ, we will want to be slaves to do His will. This slow process is sanctification - which should indwell us as we grow in faith in the Lord Jesus. (DRM 8/2/15)

6:20, 21    For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

    In these verses Paul is pointing out that what our thoughts and values were as non-Christians were changed after we become Christians. We were previously slaves to sin and now we have given that up to please Christ.
    Being in sin is like following Satan to death. Everything we were doing then was under his control. We, as Christians, are now going in a different direction; following Jesus. Satan will still try to turn us back to the old ways, but, with God's help, the Holy Spirit will show us the path to righteousness. (DRM 8/3/15)

6:22    But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

    When I became a born-again Christian, I became a slave to my Master, God=Jesus. I was freed from the sins of my past and have tried to avoid sin ever since. This process is called sanctification.
    Of course I'm excited that I will live forever - and especially to know where and with Whom. (DRM 7/30/11)

    We don't have the power to control sin, but we have the right to give our bodies over to Christ's mastery so He can give us the victory. (Word of Life diary)

6:23    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    The goal of a Christian should be not to sin. God=Jesus knows it's an impossible goal - but He wants us to strive for it - the sanctification process.
    Thankfully, He provided a way of eternal life for sinners - Jesus Christ, but that doesn't mean we should keep sinning. Praise the Lord He provides this way, so long as we repent form our sins. (DRM 8/2/08)

7:1    Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?

    Generally, we consider the law to be the Ten Commandments. At first thought, some may think that they "expired" when Jesus came and died for our sins, but how would we know we sinned if we didn't refer to the law?
    In the following verses, Paul refers to divorce and remarriage - how would we know this was sin if fit wasn't in the Bible?
    Thankfully, Jesus died for our sins - if we confess them to Him and turn away from them, He will forgive these sins. The true goal should be to try to be as sinless as possible. (DRM 6/8/17)

7:6    But now we have been released from Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. 

    In the olden days, the days of the Old Testament, they had to live by the Law the Ten Commandments. After Jesus came and returned to Heaven, we have been told to follow Him. Then what are we to do with the Law? I think this says that the Law is to convict us of our sins and to show us how we need forgiveness for our errors - which can only be provided in Jesus, and to serve only Him. (DRM 7/31/05)

7:7    What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET."

    This is likely the problem with today's world. With technology, it seems that few people have time to read real books. Of that number, I wonder how many have read the Bible even once from beginning to end?
    When we (I) read the Bible, I am convicted of sins that I'd never have known about if the Bible and Holy Spirit hadn't convicted me of them. We all need a Savior; the Lord Jesus. (DRM 7/31/11)

7:9    I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandments came, sin became alive and I died;

    The Ten Commandments, or The Law, points out our sin nature. There are other sins listed in the Bible, but The Law seems to be the most convicting and easily accessible list. Before becoming a Christian, a person generally doesn't care about the Law, but later realizes all the sins that we have committed based on the Law. (DRM 8/3/08)

7:12    So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

    There is the old covenant and the new covenant. As followers of the new covenant, we follow Jesus and His teachings.
    What are we to do with the Old Testament and it's Law - the commandments?
    Paul made it clear that we are not to ignore the Law, but understand it and know that it's purpose is for conviction of sin. We wouldn't know we sinned if the Law didn't tell us it was a sin (v. 7).
    The Ten commandments are teaching us what God desires. We need Jesus as He died for our sins - and must confess them to Him, as convicted through the Holy Spirit. (DRM 10/19/17)

    The Holy Spirit transforms us through His love and by His grace. (from Our Daily Bread 10/19/17)

7:13    Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful.

    Paul was trying to explain the battle between following the Law (Ten Commandments, etc.) and following Christ.
    The Law has/had a purpose. It shows us what is sin (v. 7) so we need the Law to know when we are sinning. Jesus died for our sins, so do we ignore the Law? No.
    As Christians, we want to avoid sinning as much as possible. The Law shows us what to avoid. When we disobey the Law, we are to confess the sin and turn from that sin, then try again.  (DRM 2/17/17)

7:14    For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.

    There is a war going on. It occurs inside every Christian. The Law Paul refers to is generally what we call the Ten Commandments. Our spiritual nature, given by the Holy Spirit, tells us what is right to do and what is wrong.
    Our sin nature tells us to do the opposite. The decisions we make are all little battles in the long war. Should we do this or that? What would Jesus do? In our mind we know the right thing to do - the Bible shows us the way.
    While the battle rages, stay on the Lord's side and you/we will win in the end. (DRM 1/28/17)

7:15    For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

    In this section of Romans seven, Paul keeps restating his conflict between the physical (sin nature) and the spiritual mindsets. As Christians, we want to do more things to honor the Lord who opened our eyes spiritually and the body that seems to say, I have other things to do. It's a battlefield that occurs in our mind - spiritual warfare.
    Clearly, we should do things that please the Holy Spirit within us, but God knows we live on earth and have to work and do some earthly commitments also. The key is to do both. Our earthly work has to be done and our free time should include time to proclaim His Kingdom in some way. (DRM 7/1/17)

    The war between the good we want to do and the bad we end up doing is a struggle for all Christ-followers. (from Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT 6/28/17 J. R. HUDBERG)

7:18    For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

    Sometimes I (not necessarily the Holy Spirit) get ideas on what I could do for the Lord, but then don't do them. The flesh in me makes up excuses on why not to do them. It's a spiritual war inside me. The title in my Bible here is, "The conflict of Two Natures."
    Many things I've thought of require the assistance of others - and that has almost always been denied - and I'm single. . . so have to do other things alone.
    Still, the Holy Spirit leads me to serve the Lord and I do what I am able . . . even though I'd like to do more. (DRM 1/22/16)

7:19    For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.

    I am constantly in a spiritual war. I want to serve Christ more, but then I procrastinate and it never gets done, or some other 'excuse' comes so the spiritual goal is not reached.
    Even though I think I know the difference between right and wrong, the sin nature seems to keep sending me the wrong way. I must listen to the Holy Spirit! (DRM 8/1/11)

7:20    But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. 

    This section [7:14-25] is about our two natures. My heart wants to serve God, and my body's nature wants to do anything else. I call it my diversions, as my sin nature always wants me to do something, anything, else than serving the Lord. TV, the Internet and eating are a few of the things that take my time away from serving the Lord. Somehow, I have to spend more time on serving the Lord! (DRM 8/1/05)

7:21    I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

    I know that I am living in a spiritual war, like Paul describes in this passage. As a Christian believer, the Holy Spirit in me tells me what is right to do, then my other spirit goes right on doing other things. An example are the diversions on television when I only want to see one program. I need a "one-track" mind to keep on the "mission." (DRM 8/4/08)

7:23    . . . but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

    It seems that I have many continual spiritual wars going on within me. The devil keeps tempting me to do the "pleasurable" things of this world and keeps telling me to stop my Bible study and trust in God. While the temptations are great, I have succeeded so far, and hope that I can continue to live the right way honoring Christ. (DRM 2/6/87)

7:24    Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

    Romans 8:2 answers this question.
    Each believer has two natures, as Paul described in Chapter seven. The Holy Spirit within us wants us to do good things - especially in our service for the Lord (e. g. serving others, evangelism), and our other, earthly nature wants to ignore God and do our own desires. In this verse, this is referred to as the "body of death" as sin is deadly opposed to by the Holy Spirit.
    When the Holy Spirit tells you to do something - do that and not what the earthly spirit says. (DRM 8/4/14)

7:25    Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

    We each have two natures. On the one side (in our mind) as Christians, we want to serve Jesus and on the other side (our body) our physical body wants to do sinful things. We have a war going on within ourselves.
    Thankfully, the Holy Spirit lives in us and shows us the right way to go. This verse reminds me/us to follow Jesus' teaching and the mind's direction on what the Bible teaches - and not the body's sinful desires.
    With His help, we can win this inner war, and we know that He will forgive us if we confess our sin to Him. (DRM 8/4/16)

8:1, 2    Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

    There are two types of people and the spirit that is within them. The people who have trusted in Jesus for their eternal destiny are "alive" in the spirit. Those who haven't trusted in Jesus are "dead" in the spirit.
    Those of us who ARE in Christ will receive no condemnation - now or in eternity - because we have put our faith in Him.
    I would think those who don't have Jesus as their Lord/Deliverer would want to trust in Him based on just these two verses. (DRM 8/5/14)

8:3, 4    For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did; sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    God set the rules that we should live by. We call them the Ten Commandments. There are also hundreds of other rules to life in the Old Testament that some people try to obey. As time progressed, it was found that no one can live by God's laws. He sent His Son to be a substitution for the sins that we committed by breaking His Laws.
    Those of us (Christians) who accept this gift - Jesus was the sacrifice given for our sins - walk according to the Spirit - trusting that God provided His Son as the ONLY way of entrance into Heaven. (DRM 5/28/13)

    Because of human weakness, the exacting requirements of the Old Testament law could never justify the believer before God (v. 3). Now, because of Christ's atoning death on the cross and victorious resurrection from the dead, the believer has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit (v. 4). It is He who empowers the believer to live a life pleasing to God. (Our Daily Bread, INSIGHT, 5/28/13)

8:6, 7, 8    For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    [Re 8:6,7]    How do we know if someone (including ourselves) belongs to God?
    If a person lives according to the "flesh," they generally are not living for God and promoting His Kingdom. To live according to the flesh could be dwelling primarily on a person's external appearance, thinking primarily of self rather than others and their needs etc.
    A person in the Spirit cares more for others and their needs - helping and praying for others - and desires to serve, pray to and promote the Kingdom of Heaven - where God=Jesus is now. (DRM 10/11/13)

    Dear Lord, I pray that through the work of Your Spirit dwelling within me I will be transformed into a grand display of the fruit that will attract others to You and reflect glory back to You. from Our Daily Bread 10/11/13

    [Re 8:6-8]    As followers of Christ, we had an experience at some point that changed our heart to submit to His will. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit causes us to be different from others in the world.
    People in the world depend on the flesh and people in the Spirit depend on the Lord God=Jesus.
    As spiritual people, Christians want to please God by doing His will, those in the flesh don't understand or desire to do this.
    The difference is dramatic. We need to show others how He (Holy Spirit) lives in us. (DRM 1/13/17)

8:9    However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

    Verse five explains the difference between the flesh and the Spirit. While I think about the flesh and want to stay healthy, I have given my soul or Spirit to following Jesus. There are evidences that the Spirit of God is within me by what my desires are (e.g. reading my Bible every day) that a fleshly person wouldn't have the desire to do. (DRM 8/2/11)

    In verse 9, Paul says the alternative to living in the flesh having the Spirit is a sign of salvation. (Word of Life diary)

8:10    If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

    Even after you trusted in Jesus as your personal Savior, you/I continue to sin. Since the Holy Spirit has entered our body, we know we are sinning and are convicted of this.
    While it seems like we are still unbelievers in this respect, we aren't - because the Holy Spirit in convicting us of our sins.
    Righteousness is a process. The Holy Spirit convicts us, then we repent and keep trying to sin less.
    When the Holy Spirit convicts you of a sin, be thankful, repent, then try again. Jesus understands and is willing to forgive. (DRM 4/3/17)

8:11    But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. 

    This seems so clear to me, but unbelievers don't "get it." Maybe a big part of their problem is that they don't read the Book! If people don't read the Book, or look hard at His creation, it seems that they will never know the Lord personally. Something or someone needs to point them in the right direction. Everyone is different. (DRM 8/2/05)

8:12, 13    So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

    We are in a spiritual war that goes on within our body every day. The Spirit (Holy Spirit) want us to do things that are pleasing to God and the flesh wants us to do almost anything else that doesn't serve God. We need to have the proper mixture of the two. God understands our need to eat and relax at times, but He also wants us to spend some of our time every day in service to Him.
    We are given freedom to choose how we will spend the hours of every day. Do we give 10% of our time to the Lord every day, or every week? He deserves our thankfulness. (DRM 8/5/15)

8:14, 15    For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

    When I became a Christian, the Holy Spirit entered my body. Before that day God=Jesus was only something I knew about in my mind; but after that day I had a totally different attitude. I suddenly loved God and Jesus as a Father and wanted to serve Him however He wanted me to. I had given my soul back to Him - who created it.
    To be a son is different than being a slave. A son loves his father, but a slave is doing the work against his will - to get paid in some way - food or money.
    Christians love their Father. (DRM 9/25/15)

8:16, 17    The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

    Nearly every day now I see or hear more anti-Christian comments on the radio or from my worldly "friends" on Facebook. The world is becoming more and more anti-Christian - the USA government actions going along with this.
    Thankfully, when we become born-again Christians, the Holy Spirit entered and has directed our feelings and desires. He gives us assurance that we are truly children of God. As the voices of the world attack our faith, we know that we are part of His body and the "real" attacks are on Jesus and not us.
    With this assurance, we know we are His and He will watch over us - until the day we will be with Him forever. (DRM 3/11/15)

    Assuring us that we are God's children, the Holy Spirit enables us to affectionately call out to God, "Abba, Father" (v. 15). As "the Spirit of adoption" (v. 15), the Spirit changes our status from slaves to sons (Gal. 4:6), giving us the full privileges of sonship making us heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). The indwelling Spirit helps us to pray by interceding for us and with us (v. 26). (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHT 3/11/15)

8:18    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

    I need to be reminded of this verse on the days when things aren't going well - physically, mentally, or spiritually! This is another aspect of hope - and anticipation of the future world where I (we) will be with Jesus with no more sorrow or pain. . . (DRM 8/6/08)

8:19    For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

    We know who the Son of God is, but who are the sons of God? I think v. 14 is clear, "those who are being led by the Spirit of God."
    As believers (male and female), we are the sons of God. We call God the Father.
    As I talk to others, I wonder if they are true Christians or not. I'd really like to know which of the other "Christians" I know will join me in Heaven, and who I will know for eternity. (DRM 8/3/11)

8:20, 21    For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

    The children of God are the people God made. In this case I think it's ALL people. The creation would then  be everything else, from all the animals to the flowers, trees and even rocks.
    It's hard to imagine creation thinking - then I remember Jesus said the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:40) if the people didn't that Palm Sunday. Balaam's donkey talked (Numbers 22:28), and certainly cats and dogs have personalities.
    When creation "is set free" will we have conversations with these things? How different life will be!
    All glory belongs to God=Jesus. (DRM 6/19/16)

8:22    For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

    While I can't personally relate to "the pains of childbirth," the point of this passage is that all of God's creation eagerly anticipates Jesus' return. Not just Christians, or even Jews who are looking for their same Messiah for the "first" time, but even plants and animals (creation) will somehow be different when this corrupt world is over with.
    What will it be like? The only real clues are in the Bible. We all have to anticipate His return. (DRM 3/7/14)

8:23    And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 

    Verse 14 states "for all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." So, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit within us and that should cause us to want to be servants to Him. The Holy Spirit within us also wants to see the Master who chose us to live with Him. This desire to be in Heaven is truly the redemption of our bodies. (DRM 8/3/05)

    This is exactly how I feel today.
    Since I became a Christian, I received "the first fruits of the Spirit" or His Spirit directing my life.
    Since that day over 30 years ago, I've been excited about what Heaven will be like - re-reading Revelation 21 and 22 many times. Now there are more and more prophetic signs in the sky and on the earth that His return is VERY soon. It's an exciting time to be alive!
    I hope you are anticipating His soon return also. Be ready. It could be at any time. (DRM 9/8/17)

8:24    For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?

    Hope is having faith that things will be better in the future.
    As time progresses, the object of hope can change. e.g. I hope I can get a new car, then when I get the car, I hope for something else.
    God saved us and caused us (me) to hope to be with Him in Heaven someday. Since I haven't seen Heaven yet, I still have this hope.
    Right now my greatest hope is to hear the trumpet (shofar) sound of the Rapture and go immediately to be with Jesus. (DRM 4/2/12)

8:25    But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

    If we get everything that we ask for, then there would be nothing to look forward to. 
    God's plan will be to give us things that we ask for, but according to His timing, not ours. 
    I know that I am important, and need to remember that good things WILL happen, but in God's timing. (DRM 2/22/87)

8:24, 25    {Not the same version I used in 1987!}    For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

    Anticipation is a word that comes to my mind. Yes, I'm hoping for Jesus' soon return, but there are other things I hope to see in the future. Probably you are looking forward to these things also: 1. Meeting Jesus and being able to ask any questions. 2. Reuniting with believing friends and relatives that have preceded us. 3. Getting a new body with new abilities. 4. A new home made just for me from the Lord.
    While I can't see these things now, I live with anticipation/hope that they will come someday soon. (DRM 10/1/17)

8:26, 27    In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

    Praying can be hard - I know it is for me - I pray for a lot of other people, but don't know their specific needs for the day. I know the format J.O.Y. = Jesus, others then you, but still feel inadequate talking to the Creator of the world and every cell in my body.
    In these two verses there seems to be an understanding of my inadequacy. When we can't complete our prayer, the Holy Spirit fills in the "blank spots." He knows the details of the lives of others and also our motives and intentions to pray for them.
    While I don't want to be incomplete, it's reassuring to see here that the Holy Spirit is filling in our prayers. (DRM 4/22/16)

    Thank You, Father, for giving me Your Spirit to help me when I pray. Thank You for hearing my prayers and loving me. (from Our Daily Bread 4/22/16)

8:28    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    I could write something on nearly every verse in this most encouraging passage [8:26-39]. . .    God has a plan, and has had it from the beginning of time. We were all created to do a part of it, "called according to His purpose." If I don't do my part, He has a backup person to do it, which is NOT good. There is no doubt that He will get the project done through someone! Getting His instructions seems to be the hardest part for me lately. As a servant, I need my Master's orders. (DRM 8/4/05)

8:29    For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

    Some people have a problem with predestination and call it Calvinism. Here it is in the Bible!
    God created everything in the universe, including every cell in our bodies. He knew before we were born what we would co and if we would worship Him or not. Those that would worship His Son, Jesus, He would give special attention to and conform us (spiritually) to the attitudes of His Son.
    The last part of the verse refers to the Son, Jesus, that was the first "Christian." (DRM 1/30/12)

8:30    . . . and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

    God knows everything. He knew before we were born if we would follow Him during our lifetime or not. In this way He predestined what we would do and what our faith would consist of.
    As part of this knowledge about our future destiny, He called us to be part of His family. He had sent His Son, Jesus, to justify our sin debt and has already glorified us as a part of His future Kingdom on earth.
    This is all based on our complete and absolute faith in Jesus and what He did to die for our sins and rise again to be with the Father today. (DRM 8/25/15)

8:31    When then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

    Satan and his demons are against us. They will try every angle they can to keep us from God=Jesus. I think their greatest weapon against me is diversions. They will make it so our mind is on other things - anything at all - so long as we don't study the Bible, worship or pray.
    God=Jesus still loves us and wants us to love Him. As we get past Satan's diversions and spend more time with Him, He increases our spiritual knowledge and wants us to share His love with others.
    God's love is eternal. If we can get past Satan's diversions, the time in Heaven=eternity will be wonderful. (DRM 12/28/14)

    In today's reading, Paul affirms the security the believer has in Christ (vv. 31-35). God protects us (v. 31), saves us (v. 32), and no longer condemns us (vv. 33-34). He also assures us that we are safe, secure, and victorious in Christ's great love (vv. 35, 37, 39). (From INSIGHT, Our Daily Bread, 12/28/14)

8:32    He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him [Jesus] over for us all, how will He {God] not also with Him [Jesus] freely give us all things?

    From the beginning, God knew that we would sin against His desires for us. Even in Old Testament days, God sent Jesus, on occasion, to direct people toward God. After a few thousand years, God gave Jesus a form and Jesus ministered to people in Israel for about 3 years; then He died on the cross for all sins: past, present and future. We are now able to join God and Jesus in Heaven if we repent of our sins and follow Him.
    Since God already gave Jesus, what better thing could He give? If we trust in Jesus, He will give us our desires - if it's His will. (DRM 7/8/13)

8:33    Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;

    The 'elect' are the people whom God knew would be Christians and truly follow Him.
    I can think of several people in my life who attack Christians for one reason or another. Here in the USA we aren't put in prison (yet) for our beliefs, but are shunned and ignored - it's the actions they do, but not verbalizing their opposition directly.
    Thank God, He is aware of all things and He will set things straight in the future. (DRM 2/12/14)

8:34    . . . who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

    The world today is changing. More and more people are criticizing Christians and persecuting them for their (our) beliefs. Who condemns? The people with no faith, or a different faith. Who is in spiritual control of this world? Satan - who is directing their actions.
    Praise the Lord {PTL} that our Leader, Jesus is still in control and intercedes for us! (DRM 11/11/11)

8:35    Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    I remember a song that had this verse in it about a decade ago. The easy answer is NO ONE.
    No one can separate us from the love of Christ. No matter what the trial or peril, He knows where we are and, more importantly, why. We (I) have to be calm when facing these things which most of which can be caused because of our faith in Jesus (persecution). (DRM 8/4/11)

8:36    Just as it is written,
           "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
           WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." {Psalm 44:22}

    As Christians, we are at war. The war isn't necessarily with other people, but rather a spiritual war with Satan and his demons that want to attack anything that has to do with our faith and proclamation of Jesus. The demons can be in unbelievers, but we have to understand the people with these demons are not as bad as what is in their soul. We still are to love them.
    The individual battles rage on, but the war is not over. Eventually our side wins and then we can give all the glory to Jesus our King, and the Holy Spirit within us that won each little battle. (DRM 12/30/16)

8:37    But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

    Ultimately it is Satan who charges against us. Perhaps we see various people trying to hinder our service to the Lord Jesus, but Satan is working behind the scenes to oppose our progress.
    God loves us; Jesus loves us. He (both) wants us to conquer the opposition that Satan indwells. He is the One who gives us the power to succeed for His Kingdom.
    With His help (Holy Spirit), we will be able to conquer the fiery darts of Satan and his demons and work toward the goal of bringing more to saving grace. (DRM 12/31/13)

8:38, 39    For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    When I was a child, I remember singing, "Jesus loves me, this I know," but when it comes to these two verses, the realization of how much Jesus loves me really comes into focus. As a part of His family, He truly wants the best for me. He knows who I will meet and all about my future - knowing that, I must follow His plan for m y life - and not my own.  (DRM 8/7/08)

9:1    I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit.

    Why is this important? Paul's writings are a large part of the New Testament. A large part of what we believe about Jesus and how to live our lives for Him is based on Paul's writings. They have to be absolutely true.
    In this verse Paul assures us that what he is writing at the time is true. The Holy Spirit directed him on what to write and confirmed this statement for Paul to write it.
    Before we think or say something, we should think, is this true? As Christians, the Holy Spirit should confirm thoughts before we say things we shouldn't. (What Would Jesus Do? = WWJD?) (DRM 10/5/17)

9:2, 3    . . . that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, . . .

    Here Paul seems reflective on how his Israelite kinsmen don't know Christ and refuse to accept Him as their Savior.
    As an evangelist, Paul didn't want anyone to miss Heaven, and he knew his own people were refusing the proclamation of the clear facts.
    I know I need more of an evangelist's heart like Paul had. I am surrounded by people who don't seemingly know Jesus and are set in their false ways. Like I feel I'm right, they also feel they are right and don't want to hear more about Jesus. What to do?   (DRM 5/15/15)

9:7    . . . nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED."

    Abraham had two sons. God had told him he would have a son through Sarah, but he couldn't wait, so had a first son through his maid, Hagar, named Ishmael (Gen. 16). The descendants of Ishmael later became Muslims, I understand.
    In this verse we are reminded that the Jews came from Abraham's son Isaac, not the other son. Since this is the New Testament, the first words of this verse further refine the children of God to those who have faith in the Lord Jesus. A physical birthright no longer is a guarantee of arrival in Heaven. We must be "born again." {9:31-33} (DRM 7/17/15)

9:8    That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.

    This refers to the Israelites, but now I think it refers to all people on earth. All Israelites claim to be descendents of Abraham [verse 7], thus the creation of the nation. But being a Israelite or Jew in body - flesh - does not make you spiritual. To be spiritual they, and all of us, must have a change of heart to follow God and to do His will, as He directs via the Holy Spirit. (DRM 8/5/05)

9:10, 11    And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11for though the twins were not yet born and had not done any thing good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, . . .

    The point of these two verses was/is that God chooses people to do things before they are born, and our works can not save or change that. I have told several people that even though God knows, in advance, who will be with Him in Heaven, WE DON'T, so our evangelistic mission must go to ALL people. (DRM 8/8/08)

9:15    For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."

    God is in absolute control. He knows everything. He decides who He will give mercy and who He won't. There will be times that we don't understand why He did what He did, but that's all His decision. (e.g. cancer)
    God is to be feared and also loved for His compassion. (DRM 8/5/11)

9:16    So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

    God is in charge. He makes all the decisions. Sometimes it's hard to admit that when we "decided" to follow Christ that God gave us the idea to respond to the invitation. God had the mercy to give us what we didn't deserve - a place in Heaven.
    So our good works don't get an admission ticket. Our will won't work. It's all God's will. Why do good works then? We do good works in thankfulness for what God has already done in our heart.
    Thank you God, for sending Jesus to die for my sins. (DRM 3/25/16)

9:17    For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH."  {Exodus 9:16}

    God is in control of all. When we reflect on the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, we mainly think of Moses and how God used him, the miracles that were done and the peoples' complaints.
    God also controlled Pharaoh's reaction and opposition to the whole event.
    In this verse Paul reminds us that God knows everything and it will be used to bring Him glory. All people on earth who read their Bible will know how powerful God is. While we are living thousands of years later, we can also see the evidence of a living, powerful God. (DRM 9/28/16)

9:18    Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. 

    If God did not give me His Grace, I would not be writing this book. God has incredible mercy on we, the sinners of the world. We must accept Jesus Christ as our savior and thank Him for dying on the cross for our sins. So many people do not believe in Jesus and their hearts are hardened to His saving grace. We can keep giving our testimonies. . . (DRM 1/8/87)

9:20    On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

    I think this is pointing out a common sin that I know I have. God has a plan for each of us, and I (we) have a free will to choose to follow it or not follow it. When things take an unexpected turn, we ask God "Why?" rather than just going along as He knows best. We are His creation and made to do His will. (DRM 8/9/08)

9:21    Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?

    God created the universe, and He also created each person who lives on the earth. In this verse He is referred to as the potter. We are the clay that He decides how to mold. Some of us He chooses to be honorable for His Kingdom and some will not be as honorable - or for common use.
    We still have a choice on what we will do for or against His Kingdom - He knows what our tendencies will be and what the final result will be.
    Did God make you to serve Him in some way? If you think so, I/we have to keep on track and do His will. (DRM 1/30/17)

9:22    What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?

    And He has. God has had patience for nearly 2,000 years (or two full days), even though He could have released His wrath any time He wanted to. He has had patience as the world has become more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah.
    Our job is to stay faithful in this evil world and to share the Good News when given the opportunity. This could be the Day that He chooses to take us home. (DRM 8/6/11)

9:31, 32    but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. 32Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, 

    And the stumbling stone is Jesus (verse 33). This is a great description of the state of the Jewish people of today. As soon as the word Jesus is mentioned, there is an invisible wall that goes up. It's their stumbling stone. I know how they try to earn their way to Heaven - making lots of donations, and helping others in need, which is great, but without Jesus, they won't make it. (DRM 8/6/05)  

10:1    BRETHREN, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. 

    Quite often, from various sources, I get prayer requests for healing or other needs that even non-Christians know come only from God. If the person that I am praying for is of another faith, my first request to God is for their salvation, as that would be their primary need - even above their health need. Then I pray for the request that I was given. I still am praying for several people's salvation. They seem as hard as a rock - but God can change anything. (DRM 8/7/05)  

10:9    That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

    After many talks and listening, I am so glad that I confessed that Jesus would be Lord of my life on January 25, 1986. It will be my goal that I will be able to tell and teach others the great truth in today's verse. (DRM 11/10/86)

10:10    for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

    What happened on the day that we became born-again Christians? We (I) believed that Jesus was my Savior - but not in my head (knowledge), but in my heart - it became an absolute - no turning back decision that I would believe. After that point I became righteous, but it takes time. I also had to tell others that change had occurred, and according to this verse, that produced salvation; as that proved my commitment to the Lord Jesus. (DRM 8/7/11)

    Since no work can be added to saving faith, we would argue that confession is the natural result (fruit) of a true conversion experience and is synonymous with believing in these verses. (Word of Life diary)

10:11    For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

    We (I) would not be a Christian if I didn't have faith in Him=Jesus the Christ.
    Faith has different aspects. The main one is trust in the Lord for salvation. Another is trusting Him for finances, or health, or other material things on earth; while we (I) are waiting to join Him in Heaven. Of course the most important part is to give your soul to Him and follow His direction. . . no matter what.
    When this life is over and my (our) new life begins, we will not be disappointed that we put our faith in Him. (DRM 11/21/12)

10:12    For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

    God is not prejudiced. God loves all people - He created us all - and, so long as we love Him, He will do things to show His love toward us.
    The key here is to also love Him. This involves trust and yielding to His will above our own. e.g. "Here I am Lord, use me." (DRM 8/10/08)

10:13    . . . for WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."

    How can this be true? In verse nine we are told faith - believe in your heart - is required.
    I think the answer is not to take one verse out of the paragraph and ignore the rest of the statement.
    When we call on the Lord, we must call on Him in faith that He will hear and respond. If our heart is truly repentant (v. 10), we will be saved. (DRM 5/20/13)

10:14    How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?

    The middle question here is a common question today. But I see this verse as a progressive towards the answer in v. 17, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." This seems to be an appeal for more preachers. Still, God=Jesus can be seen in His creation - nature - if a person looks more carefully. (DRM 8/11/08)

10:15    And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS."

    People who preach the Word of God are very special. As written here, they "are sent," so have received a call from the Lord Jesus to do what they do. Certainly I have heard many preachers, and they all have a message to tell, and do so in various styles - emphasis. As an evangelical, I think they should preach in that style, but some are teachers and assume their flock knows Christ. (DRM 8/8/05)

10:16    However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?"

    Many people have never heard the good news about salvation in Jesus. It is against the law in USA to teach about Jesus in our public schools, so children don't know about Him unless their parents or friends tell them.
    Other people have heard about Jesus and probably think of Him as a healer or prophet, but never trusted in Him for eternal life.
    First we have to hear about Jesus, then we have to literally, absolutely repent of our sins and give Him our soul and trust Him for all future direction. (DRM 1/24/14)

10:17    So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

    This section emphasizes the need for people to preach the "Word of Christ," the Bible.
    When I became a Christian, it was the result of talking and LISTENING to another person. After that point any spiritual growth I had was from READING the Bible. While this may not be the case for everyone; the point is that we need people to TELL OTHERS about Jesus! (DRM 8/8/11)

    In verse 17, the "word of God" refers to messages about Christ (through preaching and witnessing), with these messages coming from the Word of God (the written Scriptures). (Word of Life diary)

11:1    I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

    Paul wanted to emphasize that salvation is for ALL people. He knew that the Israelites were not exempt, because he was born Jewish.
    The concern here is for the Jews, but the emphasis is on ALL. God=Jesus loves all of His creation. No matter if you rejected Him earlier in life, He still has a forgiving heart and wants you to put all your trust/faith in Jesus and what He did almost 2,000 years ago.
    There's more room in Heaven, the gate hasn't closed yet. If you are not a Christian, Jesus loves you and  forgive you of your sins. (DRM 10/31/17)

11:6    But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

    This section refers to the Jewish people, an why they haven't trusted in Jesus. My understanding is that they are based on works, and Christian faith is based on grace. The key part of this verse to me is: "it is no longer" indicating the change that took place through Jesus - and how we depend on grace. (DRM 8/12/08)

11:7    What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;

    Israel and its people, the Jews, have been seeking their Messiah for thousands of years. They don't understand that they missed Him. Of God's chosen people, only a remnant will actually get to Heaven, those who believe in Jesus. The hearts of the rest of them were hardened in disbelief, just like the world. (DRM 8/9/05)

11:8    just as it is written,
          "GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR,
           EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT,
           DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY."

    Verse seven clearly indicates this quote is about Israel. Even though Paul wrote this nearly 2,000 years ago, things haven't changed yet.
    By God's grace, things will change in the future, then the Israelites (and others) spiritual eyes will be opened and then spiritual ears will be opened and they will truly be God's people again. (DRM 8/9/11)

11:16    If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.

    This makes sense to me. It's like if the Bible is holy, then the book of Romans - or any other part of the Bible - is holy. The same with the root - but in the root the food source {source = water, fertilizer} is the source of the holiness. The Bible should be my main source for spiritual food. (DRM 8/13/08)

    In verse 16, the "firstfruit" and "root" refers to the start of the Chosen People with the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). (Word of Life diary for 8/13/08)

11:18    do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.

    This section refers to the branches of the olive tree [verse 17] in which the branches are believers, and the root could be any of the Trinity. As a believing branch, I am not to be arrogant or difficult towards other believers - the other branches. I have to remember that the enemy is not the family of believers, but rather the snake [Satan] or those in other trees. (DRM 8/10/05)

11:23    And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

    "They" are the unbelieving branches of Israel. While the Gentiles who believe are grafted in, the unbelieving Israel are no longer part of the alive tree.
    If a Jew=Israel becomes a believer he/she can be grafted back in again.
    It's never too late for a person (Jew or otherwise) to be grafted into the family of God. Why wait? (DRM 8/10/11)

11:25    For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;

    This seems like an underestimation today. Paul wanted us to know that some of the Jews would not trust in Jesus "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in." It seems to me that 90% of the Jews still don't believe in Jesus. Some dramatic event has to occur to open their eyes. Probably the rapture. (DRM 8/11/05)

11:28, 29    From the standpoint of the gospel they [Israel v. 25] are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; 29for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

    [re: 11:28]    During the present time "until the fullness of the Gentiles" (v. 25) continues - the people from Israel have a "partial hardening" (v. 25) on spiritual enlightenment. While they (as a people) will not agree with the saving grace of Jesus right now, someday soon their eyes will be opened and they will again be "God's . . . beloved." (DRM 8/14/08)

    [re: 11:28, 29]    The Jews are God's chosen people - even today. While they don't know or understand the gospel, they are considered "enemies" according to Paul. I don't consider Jewish people "enemies," but rather unbelievers in Christ, like so many others today.
    God will protect the Jews, and at some point, their eyes will be opened and they will come to trust in Jesus and will know that He is the Messiah they have been waiting for. (DRM 2/12/12)

    Today's marvelous reading on the sovereignty of God includes this riveting statement: "The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable" (v. 29). After millennia of preparation for the promised Messiah, Christ was rejected by national Israel when He finally appeared. The original Greek text indicates that God does not regret having given His gifts and calling to the Jews. Despite their rejection of Him, God's sovereign grace will result in a Jewish remnant being saved (v. 5). (Insight from Our Daily Bread 2/12/12)

11:30, 31    For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, 31so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.

    We, believers, were disobedient to the Lord God before we trusted in His Son, Jesus. After trusting in Jesus, God has shown His mercy toward us, His spiritual children.
    In the future, He will do the same for the Jews - or Israelites - and show them mercy based on their faith.
    God treats all people alike - Jews and Gentiles. (DRM 8/11/11)

11:32    For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

    The context for this verse (vv. 25-31) is that God has allowed Israel to be hardened partially until the fullness of the Gentiles (v. 25). As believers, we are generally considered to be Gentiles, as very few Jews are believers in Jesus today. This was God's plan. When He chooses the time, the Gentiles will be taken out and the Jews will then come to faith in Jesus.
    This verse refers to God's mercy. While we don't deserve it, He wants us ALL to be part of His Kingdom. Since we don't know the day He=Jesus will return, we are to be ready and keep sharing the gospel. (DRM 1/4/17)

11:33    Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

    God is awesome. I/we are to be in awe of Him. There's nothing He doesn't know. He created everything that we can see - or the materials to build things. He has been alive since the beginning of time . . . and He hears our prayers and answers them in one way or another.
    He deserves our worship for what He has done by sending Jesus to die for our sins and rise from the dead - so that we can also be with Him, so long as we fully trust in what Jesus did for us.
    To God be all the glory and honor. (DRM 8/12/16)

11:36    For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

    Who is Him? While the first answer that comes to mind is God, now I think this is the Trinity, as it is repeated three times. I'll rewrite this verse with my thought here:
    For from God and through Jesus and to the Holy Spirit are all things. To God be the glory forever. Amen. (DRM 9/28/11)

12:1    Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

    God wants us to worship Him and to dedicate our lives to serving Him. One aspect of this is not to harm the body that He has given me (us). While some things that we do to our bodies are controversial, (e.g. drinking poison with the effect of suicide), God will end our earthly existence the day He wants to, and He doesn't want us to accelerate the process. (DRM 8/12/11)

12:2    And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

    Since I was "different" before I was a Christian (didn't drink, smoke, etc.) I haven't changed a lot - except in my heart. It seems that other USA Christians have had more of a hard time transitioning to the "renewing of your mind" part of this verse. We (I) am to be in the world, but not of it. (DRM 8/15/08)

12:3    For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

    I don't think it's bad to think about Heaven and look forward to being with Jesus and serving Him there. . .  but right now I/we are on earth and have to serve Him here in some way. He has given each of us a gift of some kind to be used for His Kingdom, and we are to try and do that - not to be a leader - but a servant. Yes, even teachers are to be servants like Jesus was when He taught.
    The point of this verse seems to be NOT to rule over others here, but to be servants while on earth - and look forward to Heaven when things will be different. (DRM 4/25/15)

    Don't always ask Jesus what He can do for you; ask Jesus what you can do for Him. (from Our Daily Bread 4/25/15)

12: 4, 5    For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

    My fingers have a lot more motion than my toes, but both are necessary to keep my body functioning properly.
    My spiritual body is just a part of the body of Christ, the church. In the same way, I'm not the pastor/teacher, but have to do something else to keep the body functioning. Over the years the tasks have been different, but I try to participate somehow. (DRM 12/30/11)

12:6    And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith, 

    Every believer in Christ has a gift. This verse and also verses seven and eight shows a partial list of gifts. God wants us to work together with our gifts to make up the whole Body, or church of Christ on earth. My current challenge has been to find another Christian who was given a specific gift that would work with mine of organization. Knowing so few other Christians doesn't help. (DRM 8/12/05)

12:7    . . . if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

    This is part of another list of things that shows us God's will. In this list we are told to use the gifts that God has given us. No one has them all.
    Some people have the gift of serving; they will want to help at church activities and offer to bring others to church if they need transportation.
    Some people have the gift of teaching. They should be Sunday school teachers or maybe pastors. Not all pastors are teachers. A preacher and a teacher are two separate gifts. (v. 8) (DRM 5/18/14)

12:8    . . . or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

    God gives each of us gifts and abilities. Truly, these gifts can be used to proclaim Him to others - or not. Certainly He wants us to tell others how He has affected our lives - so they will also see the Light.
    All the gifts mentioned in this verse can be used for non-Christian purposes: A politician can exhort, a philanthropist can give to non-Christian causes, a supervisor at work can lead without Christ in his/her heart, and many non-Christians can be compassionate to others' needs. We need all of these things AND the Holy Spirit within us to make a difference in this world. (DRM 10/11/14)

12:9    Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

    Love is to be genuine. We/I can't say I love something or someone then attack them later. If I don't love someone, then I use a different word to express friendship/acquaintance.
    Evil is evil. It is to be avoided. Don't go and try it out to see how evil it is. With simple wisdom and in trying to please our Savior=Jesus, we should avoid anything that is in any way evil.
    The natural conclusion is to "cling to what is good." We don't have a lot of years on earth. They go quickly and what we say, do and act will affect our eternity. Try to please Jesus. (DRM 1/23/17)

12:10, 11    Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; . . .

    Honestly, sometimes I disagree with other Christians. It's not on the need for salvation, it's the small things that we disagree on. Neither of us knows the true answer on these questions, but we talk about them and will wait for Jesus to clear this all up when He returns. We still have Christian love for each other. We still honor the other person's faith and want to serve the Lord in the path He has set for us.
    In the (near) future, we will all be in the family and living together in Heaven. We might as well get our differences settled now as much as is possible. (DRM 12/8/15)

12:12    rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,

    What should a Christian be like? All of the verses in this section [12:9-21] made up a good standard. While we are not bound by the Law, we all need standards - and some are easier to me than others. This verse has just three: I should always have hope that the Lord will provide for my needs - spiritual and material; as I am troubled in the harder days of life, I must persevere; I must continue to pray to the Lord Jesus for my needs and the needs of others - which always includes repentance for us all. (DRM 8/13/05)

12:13    . . . contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

    This is the last of another series of things that Christians should do. It would be great if we could do all of these things, but only Jesus was perfect - still we are to try and serve Him in the best way we are able.
    This verse refers to our contribution to the other Christian saints - it doesn't have to be financial - even though that is the first thing that comes to mind. By practicing hospitality a Christian could invite others to their house for dinner or overnight board if needed.
    All Christians are one "family." (DRM 2/17/13)

12:14    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

    Persecution of Christians is becoming more common now. While the news media emphasizes that this occurs in other countries, it slowly is growing in the USA also.
    Here the Lord God wants us to bless these people - how do we do that? Probably the answer is to love them anyway. You can't have a fight with someone if only one person is participating. Try to negotiate and consider the reason for their opinion; maybe they will do the same and listen to our reasoning also. (DRM 12/15/11)

12:15    Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

    Sometimes this is easier said than done. I know I didn't have a good day yesterday - but other friends did. They were rejoicing in good news. No matter how I felt, I was glad for their news. God wanted me to think more of them and less about me.
    The same thing can happen in reverse - especially when people are mourning the death of loved ones.
    We have to depend on the Lord to take care of us and we are to show His love to others. . .  no matter our attitude today - be compassionate and loving to others. (DRM 11/12/15)

12:16    Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

    How many people talk to the "street person"? If a scruffy person comes to your church, do we (I) give them the same attention as the well-dressed person? Jesus loves everyone, not just certain types of people. He is our example, thus He wants us to treat everyone equally.
    Maybe I went to college and an acquaintance didn't go to college. He has had different experiences than I've had. Listen to him/her point of view. Only God knows everything. (DRM 11/4/13)

12:17    Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

    This is a part of another series of directives for good conduct.
    I almost paid back evil to someone who misled me. The person has caused me to lose my income and didn't appear to care about my status. Fortunately, the Lord kept me from doing anything destructive and I just kept praying. God is the Person that takes vengeance (v. 19), and, as Christians, we are to give our lives totally to Him, even when it doesn't work out according to "our" plan. (DRM 5/1/12)

12:18    If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

    People disagree on lots of different things. God made us that way. We have different interests and read different books or receive information from different sources. This influences our mindset and way of thinking. Of course we will disagree. No matter what our differences - we can agree on some points and leave the other points alone.
    It's better to be at peace with others than to debate some things. (DRM 8/13/11)

12:19    Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.

    I know this has happened to me. Something didn't go the way "I" planned, and I was tempted to do something foolish. Thankfully, I thought of this verse, or a similar one, and left the whole event in God's hands. I have felt so much better that I did that - and have a peace about the whole incident now. (DRM 8/16/08)

12:20    "BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD."

    The world and the nation will attack the enemy if the enemy attacks them. Jesus wants us to be different. He wants us to be kind to our enemies and let Him carry out the vengeance on those who hurt us. (v. 19)
    Of course human nature is to attack. It takes discipline NOT to want to hurt someone who just hurt you.
    I have had this personally and a year or two later the attacker had something bad happen to them - and God did it. It's amazing to watch how He works. Then I felt bad for the person who attacked me earlier. (DRM 2/5/13)

12:21    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    As Christians, we have our own interior rules - given to us by the Bible and the Holy Spirit. Why? We want to be pleasing to the Lord Jesus, and want to be more like Him - showing our non-Christian friends what it is like to follow the Lord.
    Still, those same non-Christian friends will invite us to events or meetings we don't want to attend - they are things that could be evil in the sight of the Lord.
    At this point, we have to stick with Jesus. Perhaps there is a Christian activity that we/you can invite your non-Christian friend to. Show the love of Christ, don't go to any compromising activities that Jesus wouldn't go to.  (DRM 6/26/17)

13:1    Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

    While I understand why God wants us to be in subjection to authorities, I can also see the other point of view.
    God wants us to be peaceful people and know that He is in control. He knows our situation and understands our feelings. He has a plan to bring us through the trials of bad governing authorities.
    Sure, it's tempting to try to change this type of problem on our own, but it's better (according to Romans 13) to let God be in charge. He understands. (DRM 6/23/13)

13:2    Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

    My first thought on reading this verse is, "but what about corrupt governments and their demands that I obey?" Why shouldn't I object? Then I realized that Paul wrote this to the Roman church at a time that the Roman Empire ruled a large part of the known world. He would be imprisoned for his views, and still he advocated for us to follow their authority.
    God is in control. He knows who is in charge of our government. Perhaps we have to keep our faith "secret," but God understands that too.
    If we don't obey our authorities, we can be killed. If we obey, we can still worship God=Jesus until He chooses to call us home. We are to show our love to everyone - even our enemies. (DRM 7/29/16)

13:3    For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;

    Rules, rules, rules! Why are the police distrusted by so many people? Because they are the enforcers of the rules. Law abiding citizens should have no fear of these authority figures. They are people just like us. So long as we follow the rules, or laws of society, generally we won't be stopped or if we are, it should only be to "praise" us. (DRM 8/14/05)

13:6    For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

    In previous verses, Paul points out that our earthly rulers are established by God (v. 1). We are not to resist authority (v. 2).
    In a world today where rulers are opposed to the Lord and our expression of faith in worship, these are difficult verses.
    The Bible clearly teaches here that we are to pay taxes and just remember that God knows who our rulers are. He put them in office. He has a reason for them being there for such a time as this. (DRM 11/2/17)

13:7    Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

    Here is another instance of the Bible clearly teaching us the difference between right and wrong. In today's society it is tempting to rebel against ever increasing taxes - like 1774 (USA) - but we do have representation in USA.
    God told Paul to write these words, so we are to render our taxes to the government, observe customs when necessary, fear who? At least God; and honor the authorities that God has put over us. . . another challenge at times - at least respect the office they occupy. (DRM 11/16/13)

13:8    Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

    This follows an earlier part of Chapter 13 that tells us "to be in subjection to the governing authorities (v. 1)."
    There are better ways to show and express our opinion than to be confrontational. I prefer negotiation myself. The point is to love the other person - which is serving to the Lord. (DRM 8/17/08)

13:9    For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

    The Ten Commandments can be condensed - at least these four can be made into the summary statement that Jesus called the new commandment (John 13:34). If we love everyone, we wouldn't break the four commandments listed here.
    Being a Christian can be easy, if we understand Jesus' desires for His followers. When a person looks at the "rulebook" (Bible) for the first time, it can be intimidating - but with time and understanding it gets easier to handle. (DRM 6/27/14)

13:9e    . . . are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

    It is very easy to be self-centered and not care about others and how they feel or think.
    I must learn to care and think more about others and not just about myself and my problems. (DRM 3/6/87)

13:11    Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

    Sin is compared to darkness, even though it can occur at any time. Jesus and following Him is compared to Light and day (vv. 12-13).
    Every day we are on earth we are one day closer to Jesus' return. We want to be ready and awake spiritually when that day comes; certainly not asleep as mentioned in this verse.
    Are you ready? The signs keep occurring in the sky and in Israel/Jerusalem. Keep watch! Be spiritually ready. He will come at a time when most on earth won't expect Him - that sounds like "today" soon! (DRM 7/24/17)

13:12    The night is almost gone, and the day is near, Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

    Night is when most of the evil deeds in the world happen. Day makes me think of the Light and hope for the future.
    To "put on the armor of light" would be to share the gospel with others - in whatever way He desires. (DRM 8/14/11)

    How do we "put on Christ"? This is accomplished in our daily prayer time and Bible study. Learning the mind of Christ is how we put on Christ which is how we put on the armor of God. (Word of Life diary)

13:13    Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.

    This could be considered another list to add to the "sins list." These are lusts of the flesh (v. 14)
    Before becoming Christians, some people have done some or all of these things. After trusting the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit turns us away from doing these things - as we have a different Leader and want to please Him.
    When observing the world, generally people who do these things are not Christians, and if they are, they should be working on stopping it.
    No matter where we are in our Christian 'walk', we need to stay on track and keep away from all these things. (DRM 5/18/15)

13:14    But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

    Sinning is easy. We (I) are born with the desires to sin in various ways. Without Jesus in our hearts, it might be accurate to say that I commit the sin of because I was born that way.
    When we become Christians, we give over our sinful ways to Jesus. Some of them stop quickly, but others take time. It's like having the ability to sin, but the heart desire is to please Jesus - thus repressing sinful desires. (DRM 12/12/13)

14:2    One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only.

    This could be controversial! Paul is reminding us that the Lord Jesus doesn't determine our faith by what we eat, but rather by what is in our heart.
    Perhaps Paul's wording of this verse is more reflective of the person's weak faith. They are new converts and don't' want to do anything wrong. As their faith increases, they will feel more comfortable eating more variety in foods.
    In Jewish food laws in the Old Testament don't apply to Christian believers. (DRM 2/3/14)

14:5    One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be convicted in his own mind.

    I feel that I've had both types of days lately. In some ways, this is a large part of my frustration - in that I need to see progress. I DO regard one day above another. I get frustrated when days seem all alike - thus no progress. God has given me just so many days to do His work on earth - and I feel I must fulfill the goals He has put in my mind. (DRM 8/15/05)

14:6    He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.

    There are different thoughts here. Some people go to church on Saturday and some Sunday, but they go to worship the Lord.
    Likewise, some people fast and most people eat and both do so with thanks to the Lord, as He is truly our Provider and controls all things (reason for fasting). (DRM 8/15/11)

14:7, 8    For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.

    It's impossible NOT to have an impact on the life of someone else. Even as a single person (as I am) you meet and effect the lives of others that you meet at school or work or church, etc. We have a choice to live for the Lord and to show His love to others. What we say and tell others about the Lord will be judged. (v. 12) (DRM 8/18/08)

14:10    But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

    It's easy to criticize others when they aren't doing something the same way you are. Paul used the example of food. Some people think they shouldn't eat a particular food but others don't have a problem with it (vv. 2-4).
    The point is that we are not to judge others. We don't know what's going on in their mind. They have a reason for their actions. God will judge each of us when our life is over on earth. He knows all and will take everything into account.
    Let Him be the Judge. (DRM 3/28/17)

14:13    Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this - not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.

    The thought behind this verse has been a problem with me for over three years now - as other "brothers" have continuously blocked my progress. I believe these people to be isolated and not representative of the whole body of Christ - thus continue to believe that the Lord Jesus has a great mission for my future. (DRM 8/19/08)

14:14    I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

    This refers to the next verse - where the topic is food. The best example I can think of is how Jews will not eat pork. While non-Jews have no problem eating pork they should understand and not serve pork to Jews.
    In the same example, the Jews believe that the Bible prohibits their eating pork, as it is stated in the Old Testament. Christians believe that this restriction was removed after Jesus' ascension and by the writings of Paul - and this is one of them. (DRM 11/8/11)

14:19    So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

    While I have tried to have this attitude as much as possible as a Christian, I certainly need improvement. Several other Christians have made my recent years quite difficult and sometimes it's hard to forgive, but I have done that now. This could be considered "making peace" with my spiritual brothers (male and female). (DRM 8/16/11)

    In verse 19, the word "edify" means "to build up." We are to be strengthening fellow believers, not weakening them. (Word of Life diary)

14:20    Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. 

    Perhaps I went out with a Jewish friend for dinner [which I have done] and we are ordering from the menu. I would not want to order ham or pork items from the menu, as that would probably offend the other person, as their rules don't allow eating of the animal. God wants us to show our love, even though we can eat pork, not to do it for their sake. (DRM 8/16/05)

14:21    It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

    I am an example and people are looking at me knowing that I am different. Since I must realize that fact, I should evaluate my actions more before I say or do them.
    While this is a familiar verse, I should put it in my heart and remember more that one of my missions should be to be an example of a righteous life to others. (DRM 3/22/87)

15:1    Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves.

    While this was written probably with the spiritually strong in mind, I can see how it could also be the physically strong.
    The spiritually strong should be leaders and mentors in the church who lead and direct others in Biblical truth. Physically strong people should help the weak in areas that they can't do. This is easily illustrated in helping the elderly and handicapped. (DRM 8/17/11)

    The "ought" of verse one is a moral imperative; we are duty-bound and honor-bound to do this as children of the king, for the "edification" or house-building of fellow believers. (Word of Life diary)

15:2    Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

    So often I criticize other co-workers  and people whom I have dealings with. This verse says that we should always say good things about others and not find fault with things that are disagreeable.
    Lord, help me to stop criticizing and help build people up - believers and unbelievers. (DRM 5/15/87)

15:3    For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME."

    I found a typographical error in the Bible here, which changes the meaning. Psalm 69:9 does not capitalize the M in ME.
    The previous verses in Romans 15 refer to serving others with our physical or spiritual strength. In this verse it is noted that Christ was also a servant and didn't just want to please Himself. Those who criticized God were accusing the speaker when the speaker is just the messenger. We have to understand if we say things to others and get criticized, that they are really accusing the message more than the messenger. (DRM 8/15/15)

15:4    For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

    God put everything in the Bible so we could learn from it. Stories in both the Old Testament and New Testament have applications that teach us how to live today.
    The context of this verse reminds me/us that gaining the knowledge in the Bible should also cause us to want to share what we learned. There are various ways to do this the most obvious is sharing with friends and in a church Sunday school or Bible study.
    Even after thousands of years, the Bible stories can be exciting and worth sharing with others who don't know Him (God=Jesus). (DRM 4/26/16)

15:5, 6    Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Since God gives us perseverance (stick-to-it) and encouragement (you can do it) in our lives, we should do the same for others in our spiritual family - and also in the world.
    As we encourage others who are not Christians, hopefully they will see the qualities of Christ in us. We probably shouldn't say "we are doing this to show you the difference Christ has in my life", but rather have them feel His presence in their lives. Sometimes we are to speak about Jesus; sometimes we are to show Jesus through our actions. (DRM 10/22/13) 

15:7    Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

    Divisions, factions, church disagreements and splits. That's why there are probably over 100 different types of Christian churches.
    Paul, who wrote this, and the Holy Spirit Who guided him, wanted a unified Christian church, not the disagreements that exist today.
    One thing is for sure . . . when born-again Christians get to Heaven, there will only be one Jesus and we will all worship Him TOGETHER as one body - the church. (DRM 9/1/12)

15:12    Again Isaiah says,
             "THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE,
             AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES,
             IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE."   {Isa. 11:10}

    This New Testament verse refers to an Old Testament verse that is partially fulfilled prophecy.
    Jesse was David's father. Jesus is a descendant of Jesse and David through His mother Mary. In the future He will return to rule over the Gentiles. Today we have hope for His soon return.
    The Bible has many prophecies if you look for them. This one is different in that Paul referred to it - even though it was/is still unfulfilled
    As Christians, our hope is still in the Lord. We can depend on Him to fulfill all the prophecies written about Him. (DRM 11/16/16)

15:13    Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Now that I (we) are believers in Jesus Christ and trust in Him for our eternal destiny, we continue to live in hope - not only for our heavenly home, but also for things that please Him while we are still on earth. I pray that I'll never lose this hope. (DRM 8/20/08)

15:15    Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. 

    This verse could be taken physically or spiritually. If we are healthy, we should help or visit the sick as we are able. As stronger believers, we should disciple those newer in the faith. Both of these aspects of the verse emphasize helping others, and really growing in trust and faith in Jesus as Lord. (DRM 8/17/05)

15:18    For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed,

    Paul was dependent on the Lord Jesus=God for all of his Christian life. He wanted to tell others of what Jesus did for and through him.
    We (I) are to emulate Paul's work in obedience to the Father's will. This is not to worship Paul or other evangelists or Christians (which I have been accused of), but to follow their example and be bold for the Lord. (DRM 8/18/11)

15:20, 21    And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, that I might not build upon another man's foundation; 21but as it is written, "THEY WHO HAD NO NEWS OF HIM SHALL SEE, AND THEY WHO HAVE NOT HEARD SHALL UNDERSTAND."

    This could be a good missionary verse. Paul did not want to preach to "the choir" of people who already knew Christ in some way, but rather to people in different countries [verse 24: Spain] that had never heard of Him. There are still probably a billion people who have never heard of Jesus today. (DRM 8/18/05)

15:28    Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain.

    Paul had just written of his plans to go to the poor in Jerusalem (v. 26). Since he is writing to the Romans, his next plan was to stop in Rome and then on to Spain - according to this verse.
    While not stated here, his (and my) plans are always IF GOD WILLS. He can, and does change plans by many possible ways - so I must always listen, and be sure He approves. (DRM 8/21/08)

15:30    Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,

    Here Paul is writing to the Romans and telling them of his plans to visit them on the way (which he hoped to make) to Spain (v. 28).
    Paul asked the Romans to pray for his service in Jerusalem (v. 31) among other things.
    We all need to pray to the Father and the Son, and need the supporting prayers from other believers, that we would continue in the faith and grow more and more like Jesus, our Savior.  (DRM 7/22/12)

16:1, 2    I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; 2that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.

    There were many workers in the church as it was starting. The workers were both male and female. Each person helped in a different way, as the body of Christ should.
    While Phoebe's duties are not stated in these two verses, they must have been very useful to Paul, as she is at the beginning of this long list.
    As members of the body of Christ, we are also to use our talents for His glory. (DRM 8/30/13)

16:3-5    Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles; 5also greet the church that is in their house.    

    This begins the final chapter of greetings that he wanted the Roman church to recognize. I chose verse five, then went back for the whole sentence. As with many churches today, Prisca and Aquila's church started in their house, then probably grew as the Holy Spirit added other believers. This is a reminder to me that we (I) have to start projects small, then increase as the Lord provides. (DRM 8/22/08)

16:7    Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 

    This section [verses 1-16] is completely on greetings to others. This verse is a reminder that Paul was in prison at the time he wrote this book. Like people today, he probably wouldn't have had the time to write if he was out preaching all the time. Maybe God allowed Paul's imprisonment to give him the time to write his letters/books to us. He was encouraged by fellow believers both in prison and outside. (DRM 8/19/05)

16:14    Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brethren with them.

    Paul had a long list of people to "greet" at the end of his letter to the Romans. These were devoted Christians who helped him in his work in some way. Everyone has a part.
    While I don't use the word "greet" about people, I do pray for people and ask God to bless them in their needs and desires. Perhaps this is similar, as no one is likely to have known ALL of these people.
    Paul is an example of acknowledging how other people contribute to the work of spreading the Gospel. (DRM 2/18/14)

16:15    Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

    This is a part of a long list of Christians that helped Paul in his ministry in one way or another. I (we) could think of them as real people who were the first Christians. They will be known (by being in this Book) forever for their early commitment to the Lord Jesus. What will the Lord know me (you) for? (DRM 10/15/11)

16:16    Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

    Today we shake hands or just talk with no physical touching in greeting in USA. In the Middle East in that time apparently this kiss was customary.
    No matter what the custom or time (past or present), the point is to love each other - especially the brothers and sisters in the faith. (DRM 8/19/11)

    A modern equivalent of verse 16 would be, "Greet one another with a holy handshake." (Word of Life diary)

16:17    Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.

    The first church that I attended after becoming a born-again Christian had a division a few years later. It consisted of a lot of angry meetings and accusations between members. I never understood how Christians could react that way. Maybe as a result of that, and Biblical teaching, I have always wanted a unified church, where people can live with their differences. (DRM 8/20/05)

16:18    For such people (v.17 . . . those who cause divisions.) are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.

    It's easy for me to name a person who fits this description! Thank you Lord for placing your Holy Spirit within me, so that I can more easily distinguish between the false teachers and the teachers of Your word! 
    Is thank you enough? Is there something else that I can do for the Lord? I pray that I am doing things that will please Him. (DRM 10/5/87)

16:19    For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.

    Paul seems to be both a leader/teacher and a father figure to these small churches. He has heard of their activities and seems happy with their obedience to the Gospel. He doesn't want them to be deceived by false teachers (v. 17). I'm sure I would feel the same way if I was in a similar role. (DRM 8/23/08)

16:20    The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

    Satan is the ruler of the earth. He instigates all types of wars and conflicts; physical and spiritual.
    God is peaceful and wants our hearts to be at peace with all people.
    While we (I) don't know how "soon" is soon, I truly believe that God will win and Satan will be gone in the future millennium. (DRM 8/20/11)

16:21    Timothy my fellow worker greets you, and so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.

    This final chapter of Romans contains mostly greetings from many of Paul's co-workers to the church in Rome - to whom the letter is addressed. It's hard to comment on these people I/we never met. At least Timothy is a familiar name as Paul thought highly of him and his ministry - so much that we have two letters Paul later wrote to him; the second from prison.
    The Christian church was growing as Paul was on his missionary journeys. These 27 names are evidence of new believers in Christ during the early days of Christianity.
    Paul's mission was to share the gospel with others. Ours should be the same in some way. (DRM 8/17/16)