It is my hope that this effort will serve as a worthwhile
tool to enable all who read to gain a better understanding and knowledge
of the truth of God. To embark upon the composition of a written study
of any portion of the Bible is a gigantic undertaking. God intends for
us to study this book of Romans along with all the rest of His inspired,
infallible, inerrant, authoritative, and all-sufficient Word (Second Timothy
3:16,17). It is usually beneficial to pass along to others what we can
This study is not presented in an attitude or attempt to deliberately be a correction of other writings on Romans, although at times I differ, sometimes considerably, from conclusions others have drawn. Making inquiry into various commentaries on Romans through the years, I find a variety of explanations on certain passages. This does not strike me as unusual now that I have tried to explain things myself. While I have consulted many commentaries over the years, I have not consciously leaned upon the conclusions of others. I do share many conclusions with others. But I am not aware that I have accepted anything from others except when I have agreed that the evidence makes the conclusions true. Simply because some notable commentator has said something about a phrase or word has not consciously brought me to my point of view. I do think we can make a mistake to dismiss the experience and learning of others when seeking the truth for ourselves. But we must be persuaded because of evidence that something is true, not merely because some learned and pious person has so determined. This analysis is a genuine attempt to produce my own understanding.
No one should have a borrowed faith. But it is not a borrowed faith simply because someone may have said, taught, believed, or produced something before him. It becomes borrowed when we make no personal investigation, and when we simply accept what another says without searching for ourselves. I have searched, and profited from that search. I shall continue to study. When truth is passed from hand to hand, or mind to mind, with each hand and mind making it their own, and not merely borrowing the item, in that sense, even originality abides in this volume.
Many of the commentaries that I have studied on Romans seem to lack something I have personally desired. So often such works are so heavy, laboriously done, deep, and complicated that possibly the average student is overwhelmed with the reasonings, translations, backgrounds, and speculations of the commentator that the real message of the writing is lost. I am not suggesting such materials are of no consequence. Some writers are quite capable of delving into Romans with scholarly perception that most do not have, but even such writers will not completely fathom the resources of God's Word. I certainly do not suggest these comments of mine fathom them. But they are my attempt to make clear the message God wants us to gain from this epistle, and put it in terms we all can understand. The measure of success will be left to each reader.
Much more possibly needs to be said in certain areas than I have commented. I have tried to make an expedient comment on every point that I felt needs discussion.
The Scriptures are for us all. Attempts to be profound and intellectual are beyond the realm of usefulness to most of us. But should one person, even one, young or old, happen upon these words, and thereby gain an insight into even one of God's great truths found in His divine revelation, what a joy it will be for me.
While there is justification for discussing the background, historical setting, and other relevant matters before going into the text itself, I make only brief reference to such things, referring the reader to search for such information among the writings of others. Some think this kind of material is indispensable to an understanding of the book. I would suggest, however, that such things can be very beneficial, but if we are not cautious, our conclusions can become predetermined before we ever consider the text. Our thinking can become colored to the point that we may exclude some vital conclusions that might actually be in the text when closely studied. I have preferred to draw from the text what the text teaches, without predetermined introductory material having too much influence.
There are times when I have made reference to other Biblical books and verses that touch upon similar truths as those presented in Romans. Particularly is this true regarding certain Old Testament passages, Galatians, and Hebrews.
Within this framework I have conveyed what I am convinced is the truth regarding the message of Romans, considering it in the logical order a student would likely study the book, beginning with chapter one.
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