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St Paul’s Epistle to Romans: Grace and Peace Promise Essay

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Updated: Sep 22nd, 2021

Introduction

St Paul (the erstwhile persecutor of all Christians) announcing himself as the “servant of Jesus Christ”, affirming the truth that he had been “called to be an apostle” addresses his epistle to “all that be in Rome” assuring them that they are indeed “beloved of God” and “called to be saints” (1:1-6). He introduces his epistle to them with a greeting that encapsulates the crux of his message: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1:7). The tidings that he—“debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians, both to the wise, and to the unwise”(1:14)—joyfully offers to ‘all that be in Rome’ is the unwavering assurance of grace and peace from God the Father and God the Son, made one by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Main text

St Paul, however, does not shrink from speaking of the “the wrath of God …revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (1:18) nor, indeed in listing various manifestations of unrighteousness:

fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness…envy, murder, deceit, malignity…[of] “whisperers, [b]ackbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [w]ithout understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful…. (1.19-21)

These acts are all the more heinous because done deliberately and with the intention of deriving pleasure from them. St Paul also speaks of the hypocrisy of those who indulge in these sins and at the same time condemn others: “And thinketh thou this, O man, that judgeth them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (2:3). In short, “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (3:23).

Reminding the Romans of the promise that Abraham earned by means of his faith—“imputed to him for righteousness” (4:22) he asserts that they are no less important in God’s eyes:

Now it was not written for his sake alone…[b]ut for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;[w]ho was delivered for our offenses, and was raised for our justification. (4:23-25)

He teaches them about the grace of God that alone has the power to deliver them from bondage to the body or to sin: “the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (8:2). In the same manner “all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (11:26-27).

Conclusion

He guides them in the principles that they will need to practice the difficult art of daily life: “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer…”(12: 10-12). He concludes the epistle with a reference to his future plans, his hope of being able to meet them in person at a later date. Naming a number of Christians whom he knew personally he commends himself to them, prays that the “grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is with you all” (16:24) and ends the epistle with the words: “To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever, Amen” (16:27). To such of the Romans as were willing to listen, there could be no better introduction to the principles of Christian faith and the practice of Christian living.

Works Cited

”The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans.” The Holy Bible. King James Version.

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IvyPanda. "St Paul’s Epistle to Romans: Grace and Peace Promise." September 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/st-pauls-epistle-to-romans-grace-and-peace-promise/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "St Paul’s Epistle to Romans: Grace and Peace Promise." September 22, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/st-pauls-epistle-to-romans-grace-and-peace-promise/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'St Paul’s Epistle to Romans: Grace and Peace Promise'. 22 September.

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