That the apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Romans is not a matter of dispute. But when we recognize that Paul is the author we must not fail to appreciate what this involves in relation to the contents of the epistle. No one can read the epistle with any degree of attention without noting the emphasis which falls upon the grace of God and, more particularly, upon justification by grace through faith. In this Gospel Paul gloried, and to this Gospel he was separated (1:1). When he says “separated” he means that all bonds of interest and attachment, alien or extraneous to the promotion of the Gospel, had been rent asunder and all his interests and ambitions had become dedicated to the cause of the Gospel. This consecration must be placed against the background of what Paul had once been. He had been the archpersecutor of the Church of God and had thought with himself that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26:9). Behind this opposition was religious zeal for a way of acceptance with God that amounted to the antithesis of grace and of justification by faith. Hence when Paul writes this greatest polemic in exposition and defence of the Gospel of grace, it is as one who had known to the fullest extent in the depths of his own experience and blinded zeal the character of that religion which now as the bondservant of Jesus Christ he must expose as one of sin and death. “For I through law died to law that I might live to God” (Gal. 2:19). “From works of law no flesh will be justified” before God: “for through the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20; cf. 7:9, 10).

Occasion

There are sufficient indications given in this epistle and in the book of Acts to determine with reasonable certainty ...

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