Week 4 Writing Assignment:
C. L. “Tim” Williams
This paper discusses the doctrines and theology that Paul includes in the epistles Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians. In this paper, I will address what makes Romans such a powerful exposition of Christian doctrine.
Paul’s purpose in writing any of the epistles was to proclaim the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ by teaching doctrine, edify, and encourage the believers who would receive his letters. Of particular concern to Paul were those to whom this letter was written—those in Rome who were “loved by God and called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). For the reason that he himself was a Roman citizen, he had a unique passion for those in the assembly of believers in Rome. Currently, he had not yet visited the church in Rome, this letter also served as his introduction to them.
The Book of Romans tells the reader about God, who He is, and what He has done. It tells one of Jesus Christ, what His death had accomplished. It tells us about ourselves, our condition without Christ, and who we are after trusting in Christ. Paul points out that God did not demand men have their lives straightened out before coming to Christ. While we were still sinners, Christ died on a cross for our sins.
Paul uses several Old Testament people and events as pictures of the glorious truths in the Book of Romans. Abraham believed and righteousness was imputed to him by his faith, not by his works (Romans 4:1-5). In Romans 4:6-9, Paul refers to David who recaps the same truth: “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” Paul uses Adam to illustrate to the Romans the doctrine of inherited sin, and he uses the story of Sarah and Isaac, the child of promise, to exemplify the principle of Christians being the children of the promise of the divine grace of God through Christ. In chapters 9–11, Paul explains the history of the nation of Israel and affirms that God has not completely and finally rejected Israel (Romans 11:11-12), but has allowed them to “stumble” only until the full number of the Gentiles will be brought to salvation.
The Book of Romans makes it evident that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. Every “good” deed we have ever done is as a filthy rag before God. We are so dead in our encroachments and sins are we that only the grace and mercy of God can save us. God expressed grace and mercy by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross on our behalf. When we turn our lives over to Christ, we are no longer controlled by our sin nature, but we are controlled by the Spirit.
We find in Romans the exposition of the great doctrines of the faith; nevertheless, we find the eternal purposes of God. This epistle exposes the “big picture”. We tend to become locked in on our own times, our own problems, our own sense of needs, and we lose sight of the big picture. It is the “big picture” which Romans constantly expounds and explains. Consequently, in Romans we are told of God’s eternal purposes (Romans 9-11), of Adam’s fall (Romans 5), and of the restoration of the earth (Romans 8).
The apostle Paul established the church in Corinth. A few years after leaving the church, the apostle Paul heard some disturbing reports about the Corinthian church. The church was full of pride and condoned sexual immorality. Spiritual gifts were being used improperly, and there was rampant misunderstanding of key Christian doctrines. The apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians in an attempt to restore the Corinthian church to its foundation—Jesus Christ.
Divisions plagued the Corinthian church. The believers in Corinth were dividing into groups loyal to certain spiritual leaders (1 Corinthians 1:12; 3:1-6). Paul encouraged the Corinthian believers to be united because of devotion to Christ (1 Corinthians…