Life-Study of Romansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have covered the book of Romans in a general way in the thirty-one foregoing messages. But there are still a number of crucial points concerning the matter of life that need to be covered in detail. Beginning with this message, we shall consider these points one by one, not taking care of the sequence of the chapters of the book of Romans, but of the important aspects of life. In this message we shall cover some basic points from Romans 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Before we come to these basic points, however, I wish to say a word about the basic concept of this book. Romans is quite a long book, having sixteen chapters. Undoubtedly, Paul did his best to condense into these chapters all the things related to God’s salvation. In every kind of writing there is the basic thought upon which the entire writing depends. This is also true of the book of Romans. Since Romans is a long book and covers many points, it is quite difficult for most readers to find the basic thought.
Many Christians say that the basic thought of Romans is justification by faith, and others say that it is the salvation of God. These viewpoints are not incorrect, but they are not adequate. The basic thought of this book is that God is making sons out of sinners to forma body for Christ that He may be expressed. We sinners are the basic material which God is using to produce many sons for Himself. Paul received a revelation of God’s eternal plan, God’s eternal purpose. God’s eternal plan is to produce many sons for Himself by means of Himself as their life. This means that God intends to work Himself as life into many sinners and that these sinners will become His many sons, after they have been redeemed and saved and have His life. Every sinner who has been born of God and has received God’s life has become one of His sons (John 1:12-13). This, however, is still not the ultimate goal of God’s purpose. The ultimate goal of His purpose is to build all these sons together into one Body to express Christ. God is making sons out of sinners to form the Body to express Christ. This is a full statement of the underlying concept of the book of Romans. This thought was deep in Paul’s heart and in his spirit when he composed this book. His writing of this Epistle was based upon this. Having this concept as the basic content of Romans, Paul covered so many details relating to it in sixteen chapters. When we get into this book, we see that it reveals that God is working to make sons out of sinners to form the Body to express Christ.
Now we need to consider the major sections of the book of Romans. None of the other books in the Bible is as well organized as Romans. Therefore, it is easy to subdivide it. This book is subdivided into three main sections. Chapters one through eight compose the first section, chapters nine through eleven, the second section, and chapters twelve through sixteen, the third section. In this message we shall temporarily set aside the middle section and consider only the first and last sections.
The first section deals with the personal salvation of the individuals who believe in Christ. In other words, it is a section on personal salvation. We do not see the Body in this section. We have the many brothers of Christ, but not yet the many members of the Body. In chapter eight we read of the many brothers of the Firstborn (v. 29). Although the many brothers are undoubtedly the members of the Body of Christ, chapter eight does not refer to them as members, but as brothers of the firstborn Son. In chapter eight the concept has not gone so far as to reach the Body. It is still a matter of the divine life producing the many sons. So the many sons are called not the many members of the Body of Christ, but the many brothers of the firstborn Son.
In the New Testament the Son of God is related to life. If you have the Son of God, you have life (1 John 5:11-12). If you do not have the Son, you do not have life. Because we have the divine life, we have become brothers of the firstborn Son. Now God not only has the unique Son, the only begotten Son, but also the many sons, the brothers of the Firstborn.
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