Romans: The Power Of God For Salvation (6)

Romans is one of the greatest resources available to the Christian faith and life. Written in the mid-to late AD 50s to the congregation in Rome, Paul sent this pastoral letter to make clear the gospel, that salvation is from the Lord, that it is and has always been by his free favor alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide), in Christ alone. Jesus the Servant of God is the Savior promised to Adam and Eve, to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, to David, and to the prophets. To make clear the centrality of Christ and the good news—the power of God for salvation of the ungodly—he lays out the greatness of our sin and misery (1:18–3:20), how we are redeemed from our sins and misery by the grace of God in Christ (3:21–11:36); and how we ought to live thankfully for such a redemption (12:1–16:27). In this episode, Chris and I begin to look at Romans 1:18–26.

Here is the episode.

Here is the complete series.

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  1. Dr. Clark,
    It seems that I need all of the books of the Bible, but I find studying, reading, listening to Romans with every other book to be the most helpful because Paul understands Guilt, Grace and Gratitude. For instance I am studying The 10 Commandments in the HC and Romans. These two objective authorities/realities bring ‘spiritual traction’ into my heart and mind in the ‘Good’ fight!

    Thank you. I was waiting for this installment.

  2. Hello Dr. Clark,

    Maybe it’s just my podcasting app (Pocket Casts), but Abounding Grace stopped uploading episodes as of October 26. Do you know of any problems with uploading to this client?

    Thank you!

  3. Catherine, I admire the zeal and commitment with which you are devoting yourself to understanding the Reformed faith. I think you are very right in identifying, Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude as the framework or skeleton for the faith. Passages that show us our sin and inability to do what God requires, drive us to look away from ourselves and to look to Christ, to trust Him alone for salvation, through God’s grace in imputing Christ’s perfect righteousness in obeying the law, and death as the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sin, when by God’s grace we rest our trust in Him. Now, with a conscience that has every reason to be assured of our eternal acceptance and adoption through our elder brother, we respond freely to our heavenly Father in love and gratitude, by obeying His commands and submitting to His will.

    Comparing Scripture with Scripture is a very sound exegetical approach to interpretation, and the confessions are a very useful tool to help us do this. If I come to a certain understanding of, say the place of good works, does my understanding agree with what the consensus of the church, in the confessions, says. Do other, clearer passages of Scripture affirm my interpretation. If the confessions and other passages of Scripture affirm my interpretation, it is probably a very good indication that I am on the right path. I might also want to compare it with what respected teachers in the church have taught in their sermons, commentaries, and systematic writings, such as Calvin’s Institutes.

    • Dear Angela,

      Thank you for identifying the sound guidelines I seem driven to follow. Coming from paganism to Arminianism, then into a Church adhering to the WCF, and now immersed in a confessional Reformed Church (independent membership) in which the HC, the BC, and The Canons of Dort are taught I am committed to learning/understanding/applying the confessions and the Scripture proofs. However, I meet and talk with men and women in the Church who do not study the confessions, the creeds, or the Bible. This condition inspired the questions I posed to you in a previous blog.
      How do we encourage men and women:
      To read/study the Bible?
      To study and discuss the confessions and proof texts for Sanctification and Assurance?
      To study/memorize/discuss the creeds and proof texts?
      The Bible is the Word of God. It is Living and Active. There isn’t any other book like it.
      The confessions, creeds and catechisms clarify the doctrines that instruct/convict us of God’s reality and distinguishing our sin and need for His Grace.
      I appreciate God’s devotion to you – especially your last paragraph.

    • Catherine, I thank God that you have come to see the preciousness of the Word of God. We all would hope that everyone else would see this too and that it would move them to be devoted to meditate on God’s Word. Thank God that His Holy Spirit is working in you, as He was in David when he wrote in Psalm 19:7-10
      The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
      The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
      The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
      The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
      The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever,
      The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
      More to be desired are they than gold,
      Yea, much fine gold;
      Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
      Thank God that He has favored you, pray for those who need to see it more clearly, and that it would inspire them to be more devoted, in seeing how wonderful and desirable God’s Word is.

    • Always remember, it is Christ alone who is the reason for our right standing before God. Our justification is in His imputed righteousness, not our righteousness, or devotion to God and His Word.

    • Angela,
      I appreciate your statements, reflections, and advice; your perspective encourages understanding. Also I searched through Dr. Clark’s past articles and read ‘Three Ways of Relating to One Covenant of Grace’; he presents plausible conditions among the people in the Church in details that help quiet my concerns. Additionally, as relationships form with people in the Church I see His amazing love for His people. Finally, His Spirit, as I write about and discuss His Word and doctrines, is exposing the standards of my expectations regarding people while helping me see how He ministers to us through His Word, by Grace through faith in Christ alone in friendships in Christ.

  4. Dr. Clark,
    Have you seen these words by Greg Morse in the DG email feed for Nov. 8?: “Our eternity’s [sic] depend upon [love for God]?”

  5. Dr. Clark,

    Should not Christians (including well-known preachers and theologians) publicly condemn such teaching?

Comments are closed.