CBS II.8 – Romans 5-8

Recorded February 28th 2012

Romans 5-8 is the heart of Paul’s Letter, and indeed the heart of his presentation of the Gospel.

Paul frequently stresses that however serious sin is, salvation and grace always outweigh and overcome it.  He states this time and again in many ways.

In chapter 5 Paul draws a parallel between Adam and Christ: both of them represent all of humanity. In fact, Paul says that Adam is “the type of the one who is to come” (5:14) and this way of thinking is the key to his argument. In Adam, sin and death entered the world, and all human beings inherit this, ot like some genetic disease, but “inasmuch as all sinned’ (5:12). But through the obedience of Christ, all are now saved.

In 6:3-11 Paul describes how people are saved through Baptism, which is a sacramental participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, in which we “die to sin and rise to a new life”. This reading appears at the Easter Vigil, when we are just about to witness that very thing happening.

In chapter 7 Paul discusses the meaning of the Law of Moses.  He argues that while the Law convicted people of sin, and did not bring salvation, it is in fact still holy.

In Chapter 8 Paul contrasts ‘the flesh’ and ‘the spirit’, meaning unredeemed humanity and redeemed humanity. He is not saying that the human body is bad, and this is a serious misunderstanding of his message by many people. Paul then describes how we have become adopted children of God (8:14-16)  and then he switches from the personal level of salvation to the cosmic level, saying that the whole of creation os groaning or God’s salvation to be revealed (8:22).

He ends triumphantly stating that nothing at all can separate us from the love of God. (8:38f)

CBS – Romans 5-8

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