Ancient Anglican

A Modern Perspective on Early Christian Thought.

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Romans 7, pt.2

“No one voluntarily pursues evil or that which he thinks to be evil. To prefer evil to good is not in human nature.” Plato, Protagoras
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A Sermon on the Parable of the Sower

This is our calling.  A calling to imitate our Lord and our God.  For like him, we are to sow the love of God abundantly and without distinction among all people.  For no person is beyond being a recipient of the Grace and Love of Jesus Christ. 
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Romans 7, pt.1

An alternative and more ancient way of reading Romans 7:7-25 is that Paul is not speaking autobiographically, but is impersonating Adam in vv.7-13 and impersonating those currently in Adam in vv.14-25.
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Roman 6, pt.3

Paul’s argument closely tracks the history of the Israelites in the Exodus. They were delivered out of slavery into freedom, but when tempted they wanted to return to Egypt, and Moses reminds them not to yield to this desire to return to slavery.
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Romans 6, pt.2

One of the perspectives from which to read Paul, and particularly Romans, is to see Paul as writing within his contemporary philosophical traditions which would have been well known by both his Greek and Jewish Hellenistic audience.  Paul’s teaching on conversion is Stoic in its basic logical shape.
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Romans 6, pt.1

If we seek righteousness through our obedience, once we fail, then justice demands our punishment.  But if we seek righteousness through Christ and his victory, then righteousness is immediately ours. And in this reckoning of righteousness, we rejoice not in works, but in the goodness of God.
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Romans 5, pt.2

Do not understand our reconciliation to God through the death of Christ as if He now began to love those whom He formerly hated, in the same way as enemies are reconciled so that they become friends; but we were reconciled unto Him who already loved us, but with whom we were at enmity because sin.
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Romans 5, pt.1

Focusing on Adam and sin in Romans 5 is similar to focusing on the shadows and background of a painting to the detriment of seeing the brightness and centrality of the subject matter. Paul’s proclaims the gospel of the risen Christ and not to answer the question of why we sin.
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Romans 4, pt.2

Paul’s argument in this section begins with the statement from Genesis 15:6 that “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” For tonight, think through what this phrase means. When the Scriptures speak of “Abraham believing God” what exactly is Abraham placing his faith in? 
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Romans 4, pt.1

Two ways to read Romans 4 are: (i) Paul is using Abraham as an example that we come into a right relationship with God through our faith and not the law, or (ii) Paul’s entire argument is based upon God’s promise to Abraham and it fulfillment in Jesus. 
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Romans 2:12-3:31, pt.2

For tonight, think through the argument against Paul’s argument. Think through the position of the Jewish teacher he writes against. Where does the teacher place his trust? What makes him right before God? Why would it have been difficult for the teacher to give up his obedience to the Law?
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Romans 2:12-3:31, pt.1

The Jewish teacher Paul is arguing against presumably believes himself to be a good and faithful follower of Jesus and simply wants the other members of the congregation (and particularly the Gentiles) to obey the rules laid down in Scripture (as the teacher interprets and applies them). 
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