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Spiritual Adoption. Romans 9:1-5.
October 1, 2017

The Jews have just celebrated the Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh HaShanah. Rosh HaShanah is sometimes referred to as the Day of Judgement.  In scripture, we understand that God the Father has a book of life that Rev. 21:27 calls the “Lamb’s book of life”. Those who names are not in the book will be judged and sentenced to hell (Rev. 20:15). Jesus demonstrated and said that He has the authority to judge people (Jn. 5:24-27) and the Apostle Paul referred to Him as the judge of “the living and the dead” (2 Tim. 4:10). The Father permanently inscribes His own in the “Lamb’s book of life” through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (Jn. 10:27:30). Unfortunately, some, like those of natural Jewish descent, mistakenly believe that you can be naturally born into God’s family. But Jesus explains, that one must be spiritually reborn through Adoption.


No one, regardless of their ethnic heritage, gender or spiritual lineage deserves salvation. One must be adopted by God into His family. This was an issue of confusion in Rome. The present situation called in question the whole exposition of the gospel set out thus far by the Apostle Paul. It was of the essence of Paul’s argument that the gospel which he (and his fellow-apostles) preached was no innovation. It was attested in the Hebrew Scriptures; it was the fulfilment of God’s promise to the patriarchs; it proclaimed that God’s way of righteousness through faith, by which Abraham had been blessed, was still open to all who believed in God as Abraham did. But with the extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles, how are we to understand the apparent blindness of the Jews? (Bruce, F. F. (1985). Romans: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 6, pp. 183–184). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.)


In Romans 9:1-5, Paul shows that the nation of Israel was temporarily set aside by God because of her rejection of the Messiah. In His gracious sovereignty, however, and with divine certainty, God will preserve for Himself a remnant of Israel. That nation, in the form of an ordained remnant of its people, will be brought by faith not only into the purified and restored kingdom of “David’s greater Son” but into the eternal kingdom of God. Because the gospel is clear that both Jews and Gentiles are saved by faith, the Jews and all those who trust in their religion for standing with God, must turn from their trust in their own religious achievement, humbling themselves, and  reject the intimidating pressure of the tradition they lived by. But if one rejects the gospel and you reject the only one to whom can be your Messiah to adopt your into His eternal family.


In Romans 9:1-5, Paul introduces the discussion of Israel and the topic of adoption in describing His: 1) Personal Testimony of Adoption (Romans 9:1–3), 2) Corporate Testimony of Adoption (Romans 9:4-5)


Adoption into the family of Jesus through faith is explained by Paul through his:

1)   Personal Testimony of Adoption (Romans 9:1–3)

Romans 9:1-3  I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh (ESV)


Paul begins this section on Israel by declaring his personal grief over the unbelief of his beloved kinsmen. He has just presented eight chapters of divine truths that are thrilling to those who have been adoption into God’s family through faith but devastating to all unbelievers, particularly so to unbelieving Jews, who felt totally secure in their racial heritage from Abraham, in their legalistic performance of ceremony, and in their adherence to rabbinical traditions. An unbelieving Jew who took seriously Paul’s words in chapters 1–8 would likely feel that the gospel rendered them an utter outcast, written off by God. It seems evident that Paul has been accused of anti-Semitism for becoming God’s missionary to the Gentiles. He goes to unprecedented lengths in verse 1 to establish the veracity of his concern for his Jewish kindred, making three statements about this truthfulness (Osborne, G. R. (2004). Romans (pp. 235–236). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.).


He begins by assuring them that this is not the case by professing his personal honesty and integrity, saying, I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying. Paul certified his genuineness by declaring that this truth was told in Christ. He called his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as an indisputable witness. He was saying that everything he thought or did or felt was done for and through His Lord. Paul’s union with Christ was the orbit within which his emotions moved and the fountain from which they flowed. In other words, Christ, who was the apostle’s very life and breath, would attest to the truth of what he was about to teach. His omniscient, righteous, sovereign, and gracious Lord, who perfectly knew Paul’s heart and motives, would affirm the truthfulness of the apostle’s limitless love for his fellow Jews. In the words of the nineteenth century Swiss commentator and theologian Frederic Godet, “In the eyes of Paul there is something so holy in Christ, that in the pure and luminous atmosphere of His felt presence no lie, and not even any exaggeration, is possible” (Frederic Godet. Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans [New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1883], p. 338).

  • How might this straight forward but profound fact change everything? Think what difference it would make if we considered Jesus present in our thought life, conversations, and of course our worship. We certainly would think different, want and say different things. Our worship would not be about our feelings and wants but only about who God is and what He wants.


As such, Paul insisted I am not lying. The apostle would not say or do anything simply for the sake of expediency or to make a favorable impression. He was not trying to entice his Jewish readers to accept what he said by flattering them or by making insincere and exaggerated claims for himself. He would not say anything that was untruthful or hypocritical in order to gain their attention or their agreement. His words exactly expressed his mind and heart.

  • What makes our witness for Christ most compelling? If our words are backed up with our actions. How can we proclaim that Christ changes people when we don’t exhibit that change?


Please turn to 2 Corinthians 1 (p.964)


Next Paul calls his own conscience as a witness. It was not Paul’s conscience in itself that was reliable. His conscience was consistently clear and uncondemning because he lived in consistent obedience to the Lord:

2 Corinthians 1:12-1412 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 13 For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand14 just as you did partially understand us—that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you. (ESV)

  • Contrary to the common advice, “Let your conscience be your guide,” the natural human conscience is far from being a reliable guide. It can beseared” (1 Tim. 4:2), covered with insensitive scar tissue. Like every other aspect of the unredeemed’s fallen nature, it is tainted and corrupted by sin. “To the pure, all things are pure,” Paul explained to Titus; “but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15). Through neglect of fellowship with God and disobedience to His Word, even a believer’s conscience can become insensitive and unreliable. That is why Paul does not allow for believers to violate conscience, even in regard to nonmoral things (cf.  Rom. 14:20–23).. To do so is to train yourself to reject conscience All believers should be able to say with Martin Luther: “My conscience is captive to the Word of God.”


A conscience surrendered to God’s Word is a conscience that is subject to the Holy Spirit, whom Paul next invokes as a witness to his truthfulness and to the reliability of his conscience. The human conscience by itself is neutral. It is activated by and according to the nature of the person to whom it belongs. The conscience of an evil, unregenerate person is no guard against sinful thoughts and actions. The conscience of a faithful believer, on the other hand, is reliable, because it is activated by the truths and standards of God’s Word and is energized by the power of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. When we live in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, and obey the Spirit, we can trust our conscience because it is under divine control. The Spirit’s perfect prompting will either commend or condemn what we are doing or are planning to do.


Because what he is about to say seems so unbelievable—at best, highly exaggerated—Paul has an important reason for summoning such an array of witnesses. His introductory statement is believable enough. Few Christians who knew Paul would doubt his statement in verse 2 that he had great sorrow and unceasing anguish/grief in his heart for his unbelieving fellow Jews. Although he was a specially appointed apostle to the Gentiles, he also was commissioned to proclaim the gospel to “the sons of Israel” (Acts 9:15). It would have torn his heart out were he not to have opportunity to proclaim the way of salvation to his fellow sons and daughters of Israel. Even with the opportunity for witness, he could not ease the great sorrow and unceasing anguish/grief he felt for those Jews who refused to believe.

  • Those of us who have loved ones who are lost know something of this. We may enjoy them, laugh with them, even play with them, but there is always pain underneath. Luther put it this way: “Love is not only pure joy, and delight, but also great and deep heaviness of heart and sorrow.” Paul’s immense heart bore an ache for all Israel.( Hughes, R. K. (1991). Romans: righteousness from heaven (p. 174). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.)


The full depth and genuineness of Paul’s grief is expressed in his almost unbelievable declaration in verse 3 that I could wish that I myself were accursed (anathema), and cut off/separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers/brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. Paul was not speaking of excommunication from the church but of final and fatal separation from Christ in the age to come. That, of course, would not be possible, but one cannot measure the speech of the heart with the rules of logic (Mounce, R. H. (1995). Romans (Vol. 27, pp. 195–196). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.).


As indicated by his opening qualifier, I could wish, Paul knew he could not reject his salvation and again become accursed (devoted to destruction in eternal hell) and thus forever separated from Christ. This is best understood as a statement of desire, not fact (Utley, R. J. (1998). The Gospel according to Paul: Romans (Vol. Volume 5, Ro 9:3). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.)


It was for the salvation of his fellow Jews that Paul expresses himself in hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration), saying he was willing even to forfeit his salvation, if, somehow, that could save them from God’s condemnation. No one, of course, knew better than Paul that salvation is a believer’s most precious treasure and that only Christ’s sacrificial death has the power to save. But here he was speaking emotionally, not theologically, and there is no reason to doubt that his awesome statement of self sacrifice was the expression of a completely honest heart. Paul felt such love that he was willing to relinquish his own salvation and spend eternity in hell if somehow that could bring His fellow Jews to faith in Christ! He knew, of course, that, even if such a thing were possible, his being separated from Christ would have no power in itself to bring a single person to Christ. The apostle also knew that the obvious impossibility and worthlessness of such a sacrifice would cause some of his critics to accuse him of safely offering to sacrifice that which he knew was impossible to lose. It was doubtless to counter such accusations that he had called Christ and the Holy Spirit to witness his sincerity. His love for the lost in Israel gave him the willingness to surrender those intimate, inestimable, and eternal blessings, if doing so would bring his Jewish brethren to Christ. It was exactly Paul’s great love for the lost that made him such a powerful instrument in the hands of God.


Paul’s longing for the salvation of his people comes out in the way he speaks of them—“my brothers.To avoid misunderstanding, he has to qualify this by noting that the bond is one of race: “my kinsmen according to the flesh” rather than of a common faith in Christ. But more than a blood relationship is involved, because he goes on to cite the spiritual heritage of his people that he shares with those of them who have not become Christians (Harrison, E. F. (1976). Romans. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans through Galatians (Vol. 10, p. 102). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.).



Charles Spurgeon knew a story that is like this. A girl who was not in good health approached her pastor with thoughts about her coming funeral. She spoke of her father, who was an unbeliever and who had never accepted an invitation from her to go to church. “Pastor, you will bury me, won’t you?” she asked. “My father will have to come to my funeral and hear you speak, and you will speak the gospel. Please speak it clearly. I have prayed for him a long time. I know God will save him.” According to Spurgeon, the father came to her funeral and was converted. The girl did not die in her father’s place, as Jesus died for us. But she had the spirit of Christ in that she was willing to die if her death might cause the conversion of one close to her whom she very much loved (Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: God and History (Vol. 3, p. 1023). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.).


John Knox reflected Paul’s great love when he prayed, “Give me Scotland or I die,” Henry Martyn when he said,O that I were a flame of fire in the hand of God,”. Only Christ’s own gracious love in the hearts of those who belong to Him can produce such self–sacrificing devotion. The more we obey His Word and surrender to His will, the more we will love as He loves.


Adoption into the family of Jesus through faith is explained by Paul through the:

2)   Corporate Testimony of Adoption (Romans 9:4-5)

Romans 9:4-5They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. (ESV)


Paul next expresses his deep sorrow over Israel’s unbelief because of their personal connection with God. He not only loved Jews because they were his physical kinsmen but even more because they are God’s chosen people. He loved whomever God loves, and because God loves His Chosen Israel uniquely, Paul loved Israel uniquely. In Romans 9:4-5, the apostle sets forth nine marvelous privileges that belong to Israel, graciously bestowed on them by a loving God.


First, they are privileged simply to be Israelites, descendants of Abraham through Isaac and then through Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28). Throughout history, Israelites (or Jews, as they came to be called after the Exile in Babylon) have distinguished themselves in virtually every field of human endeavor—in science, the arts, music, business, education, political leadership, and countless other areas. They have always been a noble people and have produced a disproportionate share of the world’s geniuses. When God prepared His special earthly vineyard, “He planted it with the choicest vine,” namely, Israel (Isa. 5:2). The people of Israel were called collectively the “son” of God (Exod 4:22; Hos 11:1) or the “sons” of God (Hos 1:10), although not everyone believed God and was redeemed. (Mohrlang, R., Gerald L. Borchert. (2007). Cornerstone biblical commentary, Vol 14: Romans and Galatians (p. 146). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.).


Second, it is Israelites to them belongs the adoption. Beyond their patriarchal ancestry, Jews are privileged to have adoption (hyiothesia)as God’s sons. God commanded Moses to “say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Israel is My son, My firstborn” ’ ” (Ex. 4:22). Through Hosea, the Lord declared that “when Israel was a youth I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son” (Hos. 11:1). At the covenant at Sinai, when the law was given through Moses, God declared to Israel, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6). Israel was separated out to be His unique and righteous witness to the rest of the world. Paul uses the word adoption, as though to say that even the status of Israel was not something necessary and inherent, but the result of an act of graciousness on the part of God (Harrison, E. F. (1976). Romans. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans through Galatians (Vol. 10, p. 102). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.) This does not mean that the whole nation of Israel was saved. Not all citizens of Israel believed God, and being adopted into God’s family has always been by genuine faith. In order to be a true child of God it has always been necessary for a person to believe in God, entrusting (ones) whole being into God’s keeping. (cf. Ro. 9:6–8, 27, 29; 2:28–29; 4:13) (Leadership Ministries Worldwide. (1996). Romans (p. 174). Chattanooga, TN: Leadership Ministries Worldwide..)


Third, God blessed Israel by revealing to her His own presence in the Shekinah glory (doxa.). This is a reference to Yahweh’s visible presence among the Israelites (Exod 16:10; cf.  Isa 6:3). God made His presence known at the tabernacle (Exod 25:8; 40:34) and later the temple (1 Kgs 8:11; Ezek 43:2). Isaiah interpreted this “glory” as the Holy Spirit among them (Isa 63:11).( Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ro 9:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.)


Fourth, Israel was privileged to have been given the covenants. The first covenant was with Abraham, the physical father of all Jews (Gen. 12:15–17) and the spiritual father of all who believe (Rom. 4:11). Through Moses, Israel was given the covenant of law at Mount Sinai (Ex. 19–31; cf. Deut. 29–30). Through Joshua (Deut. 27:2ff.; Josh. 8:30ff.; 24:25), and with David Israel was given the covenant of an eternal kingdom (2 Sam. 7:8–16). It would even be through Israel that God’s new covenant of redemption through His Son would come (Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 37:26). No other nation has or ever will be blessed with such covenants.


Please turn to Deuteronomy 4 (p.148)


Fifth, Israel was privileged by the giving of the Law of God to them through Moses. In that Law Israel not only was taught the Ten Commandments but countless other principles and standards, the obeying of which would honor God and bring blessing on the people. They were shown the way of blessing and prosperity, not only morally and spiritually but also materially. To disobey was to be cursed (cf. Deut. 27–28).


As Israel was encamped on the plains of Moab, shortly before entering the Promised Land, Moses reminded the people:

Deuteronomy 4:1–9 “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?  “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— (ESV)

  • Indicative in following the Lord then as now (v. 2), departs when people add to the word, demanding what is not mandated, or taking away from the clear statutes, in order to silence consciences. History is a record (v.3) of God judging those who would not follow in obedience. The job of the one who is called to proclaim God’s word (v.5) is to speak it plainly and v.6, urge obedience. It is the way of wisdom and understanding that is life in its fulness, that will be recognized by others. Since we are a people prone to forget (v.9) obedience does not stop in solely personal faithfulness but teaching and urging the same of our children and children’s children.


Sixth, Israel was uniquely blessed by being entrusted with the worship/temple service, through which she dealt with sin before the Lord. The worship/temple service refers to the entire ceremonial system that God revealed through Moses—the sacrifices, offerings, cleansings, and other means of worship and repentance administered by the priests and Levites. When Israel obediently and sincerely worshiped the Lord, He promised: “I will meet there [at the tent of meeting] with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecrated by My glory. And I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister as priests to Me. And I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God” (Ex. 29:43–46).


Seventh, Israel was given the promises of God in a distinct and unique way. Although Paul does not explain the nature of the promises, it seems likely that he was referring to the promised Messiah, who would come out of Israel, and to His promised kingdom, as well as to eternal life. That is the promise of which Peter reminded his audience in Jerusalem at Pentecost, saying, “For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself” (Acts 2:39). Later in the book of Acts, Luke reports Paul’s message to Jews in Galatia:We preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘Thou art My Son; today I have begotten Thee.’ And as for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David’ ” (Acts 13:32–34; cf. 2 Sam. 7:8–17).


Eighth, in verse 5, Paul reminds his readers that it was from Israel that God raised up the patriarchs/fathers, beginning with the first great patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel. The tribes of Israel are descended from the 12 sons of Jacob. One of those sons, Judah, is an ancestor of Christ. It was through those men that the foundations of all the blessings were laid. (Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ro 9:5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.)

  • In western Christianity, we have problems in our churches similar to the ones Paul faced. The church has its own share of noncommitted members who practice a religion that relies on membership as a substitute for personal faith and spiritual discipline. At a certain point, the amount of nominal belief in a church cripples it almost entirely as a vehicle for the gospel. … The privileged children of faith who have no sense of sacrifice, vision for missions, personal commitment, surrender of time and comfort, or renunciation of rest and reward, will eventually stray from home (Barton, B. B., Veerman, D., & Wilson, N. S. (1992). Romans (p. 177). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.).


Ninth, and finally, Israel was privileged to be the “race/lineage according to the flesh, who is the Christ” Notice that Paul does not say that Christ belongs to them but that He came from their flesh. This is to indicate that the culmination of all the promises given to the Patriarchs is seen in the person of Jesus Christ. Each of these privileges finds its focus in Him (Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2246). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.).


Christwas not incidentally born a Jew but was preordained to be a human descendant of Abraham and of David. It is for that reason that Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus’ adoptive father, Joseph (Matthew 1:1–17) and that Luke gives the genealogy of His natural mother, Mary (Luke 3:23–38). Jesus Himself told the Samaritan woman that “salvation is from the Jews” and that He was the promised Jewish Messiah who would offer salvation to all mankind (John 4:22–26). All these nine are not a random collection of items. There is actually a very close connection between these advantages, according to which each rightly leads to the one following and all lead to Christ. Adoption is the right starting point, for it places the source of salvation in God’s electing grace, just as is the case also for believers in Christ.( Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: God and History (Vol. 3, p. 1029). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.).


In closing this abbreviated but comprehensive account of Israel’s special blessings, Paul declares that Jesus Christby far their greatest blessing, the blessing in whom all the others find their full meaningis God over all, blessed forever. Those words are not so much a benediction as an affirmation of Christ’s divine majesty and lordship. Here the apostle intentionally equates Christ with God.  That Jesus isGod over all” is expressed in the neuter form and indicates the sum total of the universe. Jesus Christ is over the entire universe (Sproul, R. C. (1994). The Gospel of God: An Exposition of Romans (p. 164). Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications.).


After Paul makes this profound affirmation of the full deity of Christ, he interjectsAmen,” which is the word the Jews used to affirm the truth of a statement. …The word amen comes from emut, which means “truth.” Paul punctuates his profound affirmation of the divine nature of Christ with this word, which every Jew understood to be a clear affirmation of truth. Here Paul says “amenabout his own words: “Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” (Sproul, R. C. (2009). Romans (p. 310). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.)


Jesus is  the supreme blessing, yet the Jews rejected Him! This tragic unbelief  grieved the heart of Paul and grieves the heart of God Himself.  From all the advantages that God gave to Israel, it must be obvious that advantages themselves do not save. We must apply this to those who have been brought up in the Christian church and have benefited from its advantages. That may describe you, and if it does, the application of Romans 9:1-5 will be obvious. Here it is: Your spiritual advantages, however great they are or may have been, will not save you. You must be born again. Some people think they are right with God simply because they have had Christian parents, like the Jews who boasted in the patriarchs or Paul, who took confidence from the fact that he was “a Hebrew of Hebrews.” To be born into a Christian family and raised by Christian parents is a good thing, not to be despised. But if this has been your experience, you should realize that you will never be saved simply because you have had a believing father or a godly mother. They have imparted advantages to you. But you will not be saved by their lives or their faith. You must believe yourself. You must be following Jesus Christ. You must be born again. ( Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: God and History (Vol. 3, p. 1029). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.).


(Format Note: Outline & some base commentary from MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (p. 519). Chicago: Moody Press.)


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