Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Sunday School Lesson #36

Posted by Jim F. on September 8, 2007

Lesson 36: Romans

I have to confess that Romans is perhaps my favorite book of scripture. Given the way that most Latter-day Saints think of Romans, that marks me as at least strange, if not perverse. It also means that I will have to restrain myself to keep this lesson to a reasonable length. To do that I have selected a few verses that I think get at the heart of Paul’s message and focus on those. I have also attached an outline of the book as a whole so that you can perhaps understand Paul’s message better since I couldn’t figure out how to make the outline work in the blog’s word processor.

Chapter 1

Verse 7: Why does Paul describe the saints in Rome as “beloved of God”? Doesn’t God love everyone? If he does, why describe any particular group as beloved? In verse 1 Paul said that he was called to be an apostle. In verse 6, he tells the saints in Rome that they too have been called, and in this verse he tells them to what they have been called: to be saints. What does the word “saint” mean? What does it mean to be called to be a saint? When do we receive that calling? How do we fulfill it?

Chapter 3

Verses 9-10: What does it mean to say that both the Jews and the Gentiles are “under sin”? In verse 10 Paul quotes Psalms 14:1 and 53:1. How can Paul be serious when he says that no one is righteous? For example, isn’t President Hinckley righteous? Compare these verses to verse 23. What is Paul’s point?

Verses 19-20: The JST changes verse 20 in this way: “For by the law is the knowledge of sin; therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.” According to these two verses, what does the law teach us? What does it mean to be justified? Justified before whom? Why can’t the law justify us?

Verse 28: “Without” in this verse means “separated from,” “outside of,” or “apart from.” (Compare the use of the word “without” in the hymn, “There is a Green Hill Far Away.”) The word translated “deeds” could also have been translated “works.” Using that information, put this verse in your own words. Can you explain what Paul is saying? Compare this verse to 2 Nephi 25:23. Are Paul and Nephi saying different things? If so, explain how. If not explain why not. (See also Luke 17:7-10 and Mosiah 2:21, as well as 2 Nephi 31:19.)

Chapter 4

Verses 1-3: Paul’s argument in these verses is that in Genesis 15:6 we see that Abraham’s faith counted as righteousness before God gave him a law to obey. Therefore, obedience to law is not what makes one righteous

Verses 4-5: What does verse 4 tell us about those who work for a wage? How is that relevant to his discussion of our relation to the law? In verse 5, who is Paul speaking of when he mentions the ungodly? Who justifies the ungodly? (Compare Romans 5:6.)

Chapter 5

Verses 1-2: What kind of peace with or in relation to God do we have? How has Christ given us peace with God? What is grace? What does it mean to say that we stand in grace (verse 2)? Paul says that we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” What does that mean? Does it have anything to do with eternal progression?

Chapter 6

Verses 1-2, 11-15: Does Paul believe that the doctrine of salvation by grace and not by works means that we can do whatever we please if we have been saved? Explain why not.

Chapter 8

Verses 1-2, 4: If I don’t have to obey a set of rules, what do I have to obey?

Verse 13: What does “mortify” mean? How is Paul using the word “flesh”? (See the first clause of verse 9 for help answering that.) What does Paul mean when he speaks of killing the flesh? Is he speaking of asceticism or self-torture?

Verses 15-17: What is the promise to those who, through faith in Christ, live by the Spirit? What does it mean to say that this promise is conditional, that to receive it we must “suffer with him”? How do we do that?

Chapter 12

Verse 1: What mercies of God has Paul just described (chapters 9-11)? What does it mean to present our bodies a living sacrifice? (Compare Omni 1:26.) Why is doing so our “reasonable service”? Christ made his body a living sacrifice. Is Paul asking us to imitate him? How would we do so since, presumably, we are not expected to suffer as he did in Gethsemane or be crucified? Do the things that follow in this chapter and the next chapters tell us what it means to make ourselves a living sacrifice? What does that suggest about “good works”? Why do we do them, for example?

Verse 2: What does it mean to be “conformed to this world”? How would we avoid that? (See Alma 5, especially verse 14.) What can transform us? As used here, the word translated “mind” has a different meaning than we usually associate with mind. It refers to how we orient ourselves in the world, whether that orientation is explicitly conscious or not. What does the word “prove” mean as it is used here? Why do our “minds” have to be renewed in order for us to know what is good, pleasing, and perfect according to the will of God? Does that help us understand why the law cannot save us?

Given what you have read of Paul, how would you explain the relation between works, grace, and salvation? If someone who is not LDS challenged you, saying that LDS don’t believe in salvation by grace, could you explain to him why he is wrong?

The link to a Word file containing a Romans outline.

21 Responses to “Sunday School Lesson #36”

  1. Robert C. said

    [Jim and others: there were some formatting glitches in what Jim originally posted, so I went through and tried to clean them up—if there are mistakes or funny-looking formatting, it is probably my fault not Jim’s!]

    In reading Dunn’s Word Biblical Commentary volume on Romans, I noticed that he takes the “I” in 7:7ff as referring to Adam in a typifying sense. Does anyone know if this is a pretty standard reading by scholars, or is Dunn a bit unusual in this sense (if I remember, Dunn claims this is a pretty standard reading)? Any thoughts on whether this is the main sense Paul has in mind or not? Also, although the commandment not to covet in the Decalogue seems to be referred to in this passage, it seems that if Adam is being referred to, then “law” would include any commandment given by God (perhaps as typified by God’s original commandments to Adam and Eve in the Garden), not just the law since Moses—no?

  2. Jim F. said

    Robert C: Thanks for the help. I saw some formatting problems, but I thought I’d gotten rid of all of them. They are the consequence of pasting directly from Word. Don’t believe the blog program when it tells you that you can do that.

    Dunn is right, there is a group of people who follow his reading. However, there has been a long controversy over whom the “I” refers to. I don’t think that Dunn’s opinion represents a scholarly consensus. I doubt that it is even a majority. My vote is for the rhetorical “I.”

  3. BobW said

    I believe Romans 14 speaks to us today in a way we overlook. Whether we are liahona Mormons or iron rod Mormons we tend to think that our particular approach to the gospel and its proper practice is pretty much true and correct. Paul’s teachings in Romans 14 on judging fellow members based on what they eat or don’t eat seems to have direct application today when Coke drinkers will judge the non Coke drinkers to overstating the law while the non Coke drinkers will judge the Coke drinkers for not following the law.

    But if thy brother be grieved with thy Coke, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy Coke for whom Christ died.

    Coke, tv on Sunday, white shirts, they all point us back to lesson 34 and Paul’s discussion in I Corinthians 13 on charity.

  4. Robert C. said

    BobW, yes, interesting thought—my mission president actually used a similar idea (actually 1 Cor 8:13, I think it was) to suggest that as missionaries we avoid Coke, not because it was wrong but because others might take offense or get the wrong idea.

    On the other hand, I think the adjective “weak” in Romans 14:2 is very interesting and sort of undermines the reading you’re suggesting: “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.” This seems sort of a slam on those who don’t drink Coke, per your example, no? Is there another way of reading this that I’m not seeing?

  5. BobW said

    Don’t the coke drinkers view the non-coke drinkers as weak by virtue of the fact they have to use hyper obedience to protect themselves from the world while the non-coke drinkers view the coke drinking members as too weak to keep the real word of wisdom?

  6. Robert C. said

    BobW, yes, I think you’re right in how Coke-drinkers and non-Coke-drinkers tend to view each other as weak. What I think is interesting is that it seems Paul is, effectively, only calling the Coke drinkers weak. And I think his reason is slightly different than the hyper-obedient, “protect themselves from the world” reason you describe. I think, rather, that for Paul, the weakness has more to do with a belief that it is obedience to particular commandments (or at least “the law,” which we might read more narrowly as referring to the Law of Moses only…) that saves us, rather than faith in Christ.

    This is a very open question for me: how should we, vis-a-vis modern-day commandments, understand Paul’s discussion of, very roughly, the irrelevance of obeying the law? It seems that there are times when Paul has obedience to the Law of Moses primarily in mind (as in the kosher codes presumably in view in Romans 14), whereas in other passages it seems he has obedience to commandments more generally in mind (or, at least obedience to pre-Mosaic commandments in mind, as in, say Romans 4 with Abraham, or Romans 5 with Adam). Obviously, I need to study these passages more carefully….

  7. Rebecca L said

    Jim, thanks again! A couple of questions (if you have time)–

    1)Romans 1:18ff At first it seems he is speaking of his contemporaries, but then he moves to the theme of creation (creation, birds/beasts/creeping things), seeking knowledge, fall (20-23) and this passage becomes a charaterization of all mankind. Is it possible to see this as an allegorical reading of the Adam & Eve story–a story recapitulated many times in Israel’s history and in our individual lives–or is that too tenuous? It does resonate with the theme of Cain, Lamech, and the Tower of Babel to make oneself a God by our own efforts (interesting parallels to the Law). Is v.21 Paul’s explanation of the nature of Adam and Eve’s sin? Is v.23 the consequence of their sin? or is he just speaking of idolatry? or something else?

    2)Righteousness in Romans 3:21;26
    OED lists an obsolete variant of righteous as a verb– to righteous something is to make it just, set it right, justify it. This meaning seems to transpose very well here. Thus “to declare..his righteousness” becomes not so much to declare his goodness and justness as to declare his making us right. “The righteousness of God without the law” becomes Christ’s justifying us separate from an appeal to the law. Verse 26 draws out both definitions: “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Does this strike you as legit?

    3) (This is more of a rant.) Although we talk about the “spirit of the law” I haven’t seen that term in the scriptures (nor the term “letter of the law”). Paul, however, does talk about the law of faith (Rom 3:27) and the law of the spirit (Rom 8:2). His understanding of suffering with Christ and being alive in Christ is so consuming that I am inclined to think our usual spirit of the law/letter of the law discussions miss the boat. I would love to sometime see a discussion of the law of the spirit.

    When Paul refers to the “law” without specification he does seem to be, consistently, talking about the Mosaic Law, and specifically, the problem of relying on that law for salvation.

    Secondly, true conversion leaves the law behind not because it leaves the law undone but because it goes so far beyond it. (Galatians 5: 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, tempereance: against such there is no law.) Against such there is no law because the law doesn’t even come close to requiring this!! I read this (and the preceding passage on schoolmasters/children/heirs) to mean that the real problem with the Mosaic law is not that we can’t keep it. After all, the law has its own remedies and expiations for those times we don’t keep the law and you’re back on your original footing. Rather, even if we fulfilled the Mosaic law perfectly, it would STILL not suffice to bring us to Christ. We step into adulthood through the law, not by ignoring it, but by fulfilling and surpassing it.

    As far as modern-day applications, I am uncomfortable equating the law with obedience to the commandments and even the counsel of church leaders. I think Paul would have included all of these under the idea of the law of the spirit. His own appeals to the saints to follow him and to respond because of the great love he had for them, implies that modern discussions might profit from less talk about what we should obey and more talk about how we should obey. Paul portrays a zealous obedience springing from faith in Christ, unity with him, and love for him and his apostles.

    My guess is that if we’re defending our right to drink Coke or we’re upset by someone else’s blue shirt as he passes the sacrament, we’re just not there yet. Then again, what a penetrating glimpse into the obvious–we’re just not there yet! :) “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.”

  8. Jim F. said

    Rebecca L: Mostly my response to your questions is “Yes.”

    1. I’ve not seen this reading before, but it is very suggestive, certainly worth trying out. As for verse 21: I think it describes all sin, and I think that what happened in the Garden of Eden is a anti-type of sin–hearkening to the voice of Satan and, therefore, not glorifying God as God.

    2. I understand God’s righteousness in Romans to refer to his ability to judge us, and the judgment he will make if we are faithful to him is that we are free from sin. So I think you are absolutely on the right track when you say “‘to declare . . . his righteousness’ becomes not so much to declare his goodness and justness as to declare his making us right.”

    3. I like your rant.

    You say “The real problem with the Mosaic law is not that we can’t keep it. After all, the law has its own remedies and expiations for those times we don’t keep the law and you’re back on your original footing. Rather, even if we fulfilled the Mosaic law perfectly, it would STILL not suffice to bring us to Christ. We step into adulthood through the law, not by ignoring it, but by fulfilling and surpassing it.”

    That was very helpful to me. Thank you.

  9. cherylem said

    It’s time for me to prepare this lesson – at least I have 2 weeks because of General Conference. But arghghghghghgh – one week on Romans!

    I mentioned elsewere that I ordered your book on Romans 1, but it still hasn’t come . . . hopefully in a day or two.


  10. Robert C. said

    Rebecca #7,

    (1) In his commentary on Romans, James Dunn reads allusions to Adam and Eve all over the place (see #1 above), including verse 23 (I think the term “image” esp. invokes Gen 1:26-27). Here’s an excerpt:

    It is sufficiently clear that Paul also had in mind the figure of Adam and the narrative of the fall (Gen 3), as of course is true also of the Wisdom of Solomon (2:23–24). There is no specific allusion to Genesis, but it was hardly possible for a Jew to think of man’s place in creation, his knowledge of God, and his loss of that knowledge in a (single) act of willful rebellion, without reference to Gen 2–3. Paul’s indictment of humankind is also his description of Adam (= man): Adam/man who did not honor God as God or acknowledge his creaturely dependence on him, Adam/man who thought he himself could be as God, wise in his own right without need of God’s wisdom, and who by that very act darkened his own counsel and clothed himself in folly. Thus it is that the Genesis narrative provides Paul with a penetrating analysis of contemporary man. [Dunn, J. D. G. (2002). Vol. 38A: Word Biblical Commentary : Romans 1-8. Word Biblical Commentary (72). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.]

    (2) In The Theology of Paul the Apostle, Dunn has a great discussion of this term. After emphasizing the Hebrew connotations of the term righteousness/justification, Dunn writes:

    The recognition of the essentially relational character of Paul’s understanding also speaks with some immediacy to the traditional debates of post-Reformation theology. . . . The debate on whether “the righteousness of God” was subjective or objective genitive, “an activity of God” or “a gift bestowed by God,” can too easily become another peice of either-or-exegesis. For the dynamic of relationship simply refuses to conform to such analysis. In contrast, Paul took it for granted that God’s righteousness was to be understood as God’s activity in drawing individuals into and sustaining them within the relationship, as “the power of God for salvation.” [p. 344]

    Dunn goes on to talk about debates as to whether dikaioo means to “make righteous” or “reckon righteous” as being moot: “[T]he answer is not one or the other but both. The covenant God counts the covenant partner as still in partnership, despite the latter’s continued failure Bu the covenant partner could hardly fail to be transformed by a living relationship with the life-giving God” (p. 344).

    (3) I think the letter vs. S/spirit might be studied in Romans 7:6:

    But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

    I agree that efforts to rationalize a less consecrated turning toward God are a perversion of scripture, but I think the language letter vs. S/spirt is consistent with Paul’s writings.

    Regarding whether “law” refers to the Law of Moses specifically or law more generally, I’ve wondered a fair bit about this, esp. since Romans 4 talks about Abraham, who of course lived before the Law of Moses (suggesting, to me at least, that “law” in subsequent chapters, esp. ch. 7, is referring to “law” more generally; note, again, comment #1 above where Dunn takes the discussion of law as having strong references to the disobeying of “law” inherent in the Fall—but note also Jim’s disagreement in #2).

    (Note, this earlier post discusses the possible connotations of law in Paul’s writing a bit more, and here is a link to some other “Intro to Paul” discussions we had a while back, in case anyone’s interested.)

  11. Jim F. said


    Isn’t the point of chapter 4 precisely that Abraham made his covenant before the law of Moses, so, we cannot equate “covenant” and that law? It seems to me that “law” more clearly means “Law of Moses” in chapter 4 than it does in other places, where it is often ambiguous.

    Jut for the record: I don’t think that “law” in Romans necessarily means “Law of Moses,” but I think it means that more often than not.

  12. Robert C. said

    Jim #11, technically isn’t Roman 4 distinguishing between covenant and circumcision? As I understand it, circumcision was later codified as part of the Law of Moses, but since it was an instruction or command given before Moses, I’m thinking that even in Romans 4 “law” means instruction or command, like circumcision, not just the later-codified Law of Moses. But perhaps I’m misunderstanding what is meant by “Law of Moses.”

    Here’s what I found looking again in Dunn’s Romans commentary (since I have no confidence yet in my own grasp of any of this!): In discussing 4:16-17, he cites Sirach 44:20 which says that Abraham kept “the Law of the Most High” (NRSV). Dunn then says, parenthetically, “it can plausibly be argued that Abraham’s circumcision was an act of law-keeping” (p. 235). I might be reading Dunn wrong here (in addition to reading Paul wrong!), but I take this as suggesting at least the possibility (and I like this possibility) that nomos means Torah here in the more general sense of instruction, not a narrow, codified or legalistic meaning….

  13. Jim F. said

    Hmm. I am confused because it seems to me that Dunn’s claim support my position. Chapter 4 doesn’t speak of Abraham keeping the law. Had Paul been using the term “law” to mean something broader than the Law of Moses (which, as Dunn points out, was possible), then he could have spoken of Abraham keeping the law. However, as verse 13 says, “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” (my emphasis). If keeping the law of the Most High included circumcision, which is a very reasonable assumption, then that verse makes sense only if Paul is using “law” to mean “Law of Moses” rather than “law in general” or “law of God.” I think that applies to the chapter as a whole and to most (though not all) references to law in Romans as a whole.

  14. Jim F. said

    I think I just got it! Sorry that I’m slow to underestand your point. Here’s your (Dunn’s) argument:

    1. Abraham was righteous because he had faith, not because he obeyed the law (non-Mosaic) requiring circumcision.
    2. So, “law” in verse 13 (and in other similar verses) doesn’t refer to the Law of Moses, but to law more broadly.

    That is an interesting argument for one side of the debate over the translation of Romans. Translators, however, seem to me to come down on both sides of the question in approximately equal proportions. For example, the New American Standard Bible and Today’s English Version take “law” to mean “Law of Moses,” while the New English Bible and the Jerusalem Bible take it to refer to law more generally.

    My problem is that I think that the translator’s theological beliefs enter into many of the translations which take this to mean “law in general” rather than “Law of Moses.” Most who translate the word as a general term rather than a reference to the Law of Moses are of the “Saved” version of Protestantism, and that translation fits better with their theology. Of coure, my theological beliefs also undergird my interpretation. I don’t think there is any objective way to settle the argument.

  15. Robert C. said

    Jim #14, yes, thanks for figuring out and articulating much more clearly what I was trying to say so inarticulately above.

  16. Rebecca L said

    Jim #8 Thank you! I really appreciate all your efforts on this blog.

    Robert #10 Thanks for the citations and the insights. I like the way 3:26 brings out both meanings of righteousness, and I loved the relational concept of transformation. I find the “back and forth” of it expressed so beautifully in 2 Cor 3: 18: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the the Lord.” Interestingly, James 1:23 echoes this image and compares looking in the glass at the natural man and looking “into the perfect law of liberty.” I suspect James and Paul are a lot closer in their thinking than is commonly thought.

    re: Spirit/letter. Very nice quote. I’m not quite convinced, and have some ideas on this, but maybe we can return to it another time?

    Here are some more thoughts (notes really) on the Garden of Eden theme in Romans that you may find interesting–especially as it touches on an old topic of why God would blind Israel.

    We get an account of Paul himself as Adam in chapter 7—we are all Adam and we are alive without the Law at one time (innocence). Given commandments we sin and thus die. “sin slew me”(v.11) Who shall deliver from this wretched death? (v.24-5)

    If we read Romans 1:18ff as a reference to the story of Adam and Eve in the garden, it seems that Paul creates a nice envelope structure and also connects this story to his own story as well as to an allegory/pattern of the history of Israel. In doing this he offers an unusual interpretation of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice.

    In the case of Israel, they were given the gospel originally, God was present among them in power and might through his prophets and covenants. Then Christ was sent as a “stumblingstone” (Romans 9:32-33). Israel has “a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Rom 10:1-2) [Isn’t this the same sin he attributed to Adam and Eve earlier? (Rom 1:21-23)] In this regard it is intersting to note that god’s glory (Romans 1) (to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man in the language of the D&C) is very much his righteousness (Romans 3;10)

    Is Israel to be and cast away? (11:1) “Have they stumbled that they should fall?” and be lost forever? (11:11) No! Then Paul gives this fascinating reason: through the “fall” of Israel, (their sacrifice of Christ), God planned that 1)the gospel and redemption would be brought to the gentiles and that 2)this fact would also serve to provoke Israel to jealousy. Paul even argues that for this purpose, Israel has been blinded (11:7 & 25), given the spirit of “slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear” until this time when the “fullness of the Gentiles come in.” (11:7,8, &25)

    Why? “so all Israel shall be saved.” (v.26) The law was insufficient to save them, but they relied upon it. However, when they had so radically rebelled against their God as to sacrifice him in their disbelief, they, like the gentiles had always been, now became subject to the law of mercy. They brought themselves outside the bounds of the law by their deeds and it would be there that Christ could redeem them.

    Is it only there that Christ can redeem them? Did they need to fall in order for him to save them? Did they need to break the law so thoroughly that the law itself was broken, bankrupt, void and would have no claim on them?

    “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:31-2; see also 26-30).

    Thus “all the world may become guilty before God.” (Romans 3:19) and Christ’s sacrifice works for us all. “Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.” (Romans 3:30)

    If this is incoherent, I apologize. It is pretty late here.

  17. I feel lightyears behind everyone else in GD. We’re on this lesson October 21st. I don’t know why everyone else seems so far ahead! I so appreciate participating in these discussions as they’re current, and apologize for adding a comment here if its tardy, but hope others might be at the point my ward is & able to continue to engage on this topic/lesson. Thanks be to those who have made the above 16 thoughtful comments!

    Specifically, how would you (teacher) go about defining some of these vague terms relevant to Paul’s writings as a premise for class discussion: Grace, Justification (vs. Sanctification), Law (there has been much talk on that here already), Reconciliation. Any other terms needing definition before a discussion can ensue?–nanette

  18. Jim F said

    Rebecca L: Great notes. Thank you for them.

    ponderpaths: Here’s what I would say, though others may have better definitions.

    Grace: The love God pours out on us above and beyond anything we could deserve because of our obedience (Romans 5:5).

    Justification: Being made right with God.

    Sanctification: Being made not only right with God (free from sin), but holy.

    Law: Most of the time when Paul uses the term he means “Law of Moses,” but I think that many seriously misunderstand how Paul understood the Law of Moses.

    As it seems to me, according to Paul the Law received by Moses was a spiritual law that came through Christ. Indeed, Paul has explicitly defended the Law as spiritual. (See, for example, Romans 7:10–“the commandment, which was ordained to life”–and Romans 7:14–“we know that the Law is spiritual.”) In spite of the arguments against the Law (Romans 5:12-20) and the argument that the Law brings sin and death (Romans 7:5-12), Paul does not believe that the Law cannot save us. Instead, he believes that it has no salvic power in itself. For those in Christ, the Law does what it was designed to do: it saves us from sin and death. However, for those in Christ the law, even the Law of Moses, is not something hidebound.

    At first glance there appear to be two different laws, that of the flesh and that of the Spirit. In fact, however, both laws have the same origin (Yahweh / Jesus) and the same content (the will of God). Paul’s point is that, in spite of appearances, there is only one law, not two. The apparent difference is a result of the fact that one manifestation of the law comes through life in Christ and the other does not. The difference is in the one who allows the law to show itself in the world by recognizing the law. It is not in the law itself.

  19. Jim F said

    I forgot “reconciliation.” I take it to refer to our reunion with God as sinless beings, made possible by Christ’s atonement and our repentance and faithfulness to God.

  20. Robert C. said

    RebeccaL #16, thanks for these simply marvelous notes.

    ponderpaths #17, thanks for asking these questions which prompted Jim to give such helpful definitions (esp. the discussion of Law, since I think this is such a crucial issue, the first half of Romans esp.).

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