In analyzing the book of Romans chapters 1-8, the four areas of interest that I will be covering are; the natural world, human identity, human relationships, and culture. Because there was a fault line a crack in the Roman society and culture Paul used this to frame the book of Romans. Dr. Jimmy Deyoung states in the video, “Romans: the letter that changed the world.” This is true because Paul chose to write to the Romans in preparation for his visit there. My world view is, Things in Rome have and the rest of the world have not changed much, the same sins that were being committed by the Romans in Paul’s time are still going on/ being committed today. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) We could learn a lot from Paul and the book of Romans, about what not to do in today’s world.
Rome was a completely overturned due to their immoral and sinful nature. Yet today, we still live in a society of complete moral decay and sin much like Rome of old and if we do not change the way we live, think, and our sinful ways we too will pay the price. I do not think people will change and society as a whole will not change from their sinful ways or for the better of this world or a life with God. I also believe each person’s individual needs will drive them to seek revelation, intervention, and salvation trying to remove their self from the rest of the world (those who are seeking a better life with God) will turn away from sin, because they understand that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to have salvation and escape the madness of the world.
The Natural World
According to my view of the natural world we live in a world full of constant sin, sexual depravity, murder and drugs. People are living more
against the way God intended for us to and to many people do not believe in God or His word that they are not worried about the second coming of Christ. People are committing more immoralities todays then they did even in (Genesis 6:5). (Romans chapter 1:18-32) Rome during Paul’s time was full of every sin imaginable. There were then and are now issues with homosexuality; and the worship of creations instead of worshiping the creator God. Take the Pagans; Moralists who had their own beliefs that it would be possible for them to gain salvation and redemption by and of their own means and terms. I had a friend that did not think Jesus was the way to the Father, but instead if she did many good deeds that would be enough to enter into eternal life with God.
According to (Romans 3:10) this is far from the truth. What is true however is that we live in a world that is still filled with sin but at an ever higher rate because of all the technology, such as the internet which provides an easy gateway for those who looking to indulge in any type of immoral behaviors. You see it all the time husbands and wives cheating on each other, unmarried people looking for dates with no intention of getting married. It is human nature to turn even those things that were intended to do the right thing with into a means of doing the wrong things. Rome in the past worshipped many Gods ( Idols) it was the Roman’s custom to put their Gods in the temple of every country they conquered, to gain control of the people in that country, Paul speaks of this in Romans chapter 1. He addressed this issue of the fault line, a crack in Roman society with the Church in Rome, in an attempt to help them learn of the true and only God. Human Identity Paul speaks of the human identity of the Jews and the Gentiles, the saved and the unsaved.
In (Romans 2:15), Paul states that, “the Gentiles didn’t have the law while, the Jews did”. Although there is a difference between knowing the law and not knowing the law, Paul tells us; that whether humanity has the law or not, they are all condemned. (Romans 2:12) He also states that even if people have sinned by the law or not, all are condemned. In following Paul’s teachings the Jews are under a stronger condemnation due to their knowledge of the laws all along. In (Romans 4:15) “Paul assures us that knowledge of the law brings wrath”, the Gentiles however did not have knowledge of the law.
Therefore the Gentiles are not held to the same standards that the Jews are held to. The human identity is whether we are Gentile or Jew in the same way we are all condemned by God just to a different degree. Paul tells us that humanity as a whole is doomed by God due to all of our evil doings, impure thoughts and misguided actions. (Romans 7:9), Paul informs us that because of the knowledge of the Law death was brought about to most in the world. After having many conversations with different people of all races, ethnic backgrounds, religions, and ages I found that people have varying views on what it takes to obtain righteousness and enter into heaven.
Some people believe being nice or doing good will be enough and others believe that just believing in Jesus in your heart and confessing with your mouth will do. I believe that we must also live according to God’s word as well as do good and believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth. Many people tend to assume things about God, He is a forgiving God and a loving God, but he is also a jealous and wrathful God and cannot be with sin therefore separates Himself from sin. AS we are reminded in (1st John 1:5), God Rome in Paul’s time and in our world today there is no difference in sin and God’s inability to be around it, therefore I will again direct your attention to (Ecclesiastes 1:9) That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. Human Relationships
Although human relationships are different in today’s world then they were during Paul’s time due to many changes in the world, technology, knowledge and just the way people communicate altogether, they are still an important and necessary part of life. God intended for people to interact with one another. It is not always easy because we all have our faults, sins, and short comings that are at times hard to overlook causing us to judge one another, which we should not do. Whether we are dealing with friends, family, coworkers, or complete strangers if we do so in faith, with prayer, and through Christ we will be able to improve our human relationships. The saying is (treat people as you would want to be treated), I think many people misunderstand this saying. They think it is treat people as they treat you but that is not true because God does not hold us accountable for what others due but only what we do.
Therefore we should treat people the way Jesus would treat them and us. It was not Christ but man themselves that perverted the human experience back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Therefor if we go back to doing things the way God intended us to we stand a better chance at having healthy relationships with not only each other but also with God. (Romans 2:29) God is the God of all. Humanity did not then and still does not covet a relationship with or wish to know God, and because of this our ability to lead Christ like, productive, blessed, and a God filled life is in serious danger. Likewise our relationships are in trouble, because without God, we are incapable of doing anything in righteousness and those who are not saved are doomed. Without a repentant heart and faith in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior all things will fail. Because of this Paul deals with and encourages us to deal with all relationships according to how God created the institute of marriage (Romans 7:1-4). Culture
Culture is a large part of how the world views God, many cultures view God differently and even call Him by different names, even so there is still only one God no matter what name we may call Him. In today’s society especially in the United States of America there is a habit of pluralizing God. The God pluralizes by culture is different from the God known to Israel or the Christians. In ancient Rome man would refer to themselves as Gods, take for example Caesar who referred to himself as God and the savior of everyone within in his kingdom. In (Romans 5:12-14) Paul goes on to teach us that man’s take on life was then and is now totally different and opposite to God’s intentions. Due to the world being so ungodly my views are strongly supported by (Isaiah 55:8) on all four of the subjects we are looking at today, culture, the natural world, human identity, human relationships. Paul encourages the people of the church in Rome that, there is still hope and a way to obtain righteousness for everyone through faith in Jesus Christ. As sad as it is, my belief is that the world will never change and man will always fall short of the mark of God.
Therefore according to my thesis, on the topic as it relates to culture, the natural world, human identity, human relationship, we must teach and preach the word of God in order that society can be successful. There is a well-respected Christian rapper named Christ Ambassador from Cross movement records. On one of his tracks, a preacher said, “John 3:16, for God so loved the world, not the world but the people. God gives us everything and still we want more, we want it all; however we are missing the big picture you see according to Ted Rivera, “we should be less concerned about what I can get out of this?” “As much as what can I put into this?” The Heart of Love (pp 25, 2013). We must understand that Jesus Christ is the only way for us to escape the world and obtain salvation. It is sad that even with all of God’s instructions we still live in a world that has a Rome state of thinking. We still have sexually immoralities, deviant thoughts and many other sins including idol worshiping, if people do not change the way we view the word of God we cannot enter into eternal life as promised by God.
Deyoung, Jimmy/ Day of Discovery. “Romans: The Letter That Changed the World.” Accessed June 7, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRBgmSbc71o “A Trusted Name in Christian Rap / Hip-Hop | Cross Movement Records (CMR).” Christ Ambassador: Christology. Accessed June 7, 2015. http://www.crossmovementrecords.com/. “BibleGateway Romans 1-8.” Biblegateway.com. Accessed June 7, 2015 https://www.biblegateway.com/. Ted Rivera “The Heart of Love” (2013).