St. Irenaeus Ministries
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St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

Paul tells us that there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile, apart from the Law. This is a recurring theme in Romans. All have sinned, and all require Christ's salvation. God gives us this redemption as a gift, and we are justified through faith, apart from works under the Law.

This cannot be used to support overthrowing the Law, as Paul states here and elsewhere in Romans. We are no longer under the bondage of the Law, but we are still obliged to be holy, for God is holy.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

Direct download: Romans03a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:13am EST

Paul tells Jewish Christians that if they think that they are righteous by the Law, they must follow the Law, otherwise the gain they boast in is actually judgment against them.

This is not just a litany of prohibited acts, either. The Law must penetrate into the hearts of those who profess it, as well, and it is precisely this circumcision of the heart that Christians are bound to through Baptism.

For those who do not follow the Law they claim to be heirs of, their circumcision becomes uncircumcision, and it is because of such people that the name of God is blasphemed. Those who loudly condemn certain acts and then commit the same acts cause others to see the faith as a trivial thing and invite such blasphemy. This, however, does not mean that Jewish Christianity is without merits.

Paul tells us that there are some who claim that Christians desire evil so that good may come. This philosophy is condemned, as when we sin, we sin against God and God alone, and all sin offends God. Likewise, we cannot do good works to compensate for our sinfulness, but neither can we deny the fact that God has given us the ability to do good works as a way to lead us back to Him, and we cannot abandon our obligation to do His will.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

Direct download: Romans02b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:53am EST

Paul reminds us not to judge others, since we are doing the same things, i.e. sin, even simply by savoring the thought of sin in the heart. This way of thinking may be indicative of a belief that we will somehow escape God's judgment. Those who do such things are storing up wrath in Heaven.

God's judgment will come to both the Jew and the Greek, so none will be spared because God shows no partiality. The fact that some have not yet been punished is evidence of God's forbearance and kindness that He is giving us time to repent.

Those who simply refrain from immorality are not necessarily thereby holy, and while those who follow the law will be judged by the Law, those who do not have the Law (Gentiles) will still be judged by the law written on their hearts. The sins committed in the heart will be made plain by the Judgment.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

Direct download: Romans02a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:32am EST

Paul thanks God that the Church in Rome is spoken of highly, and prays that he might come to visit them so that he can strengthen their faith, and they can strengthen his. Though he has not been able to get to Rome, yet, Paul has taken this time to preach to the Greeks, the non-Greeks, the Jews and the Gentiles. Salvation, Paul says, is to "every one who has faith."

Paul reminds us that it is written that "He who through faith is righteous shall live," meaning that God's will is made manifest through faith, as His will directs the actions of those who have faith. Those who do not have faith will incur the wrath of God. This wrath is not a petulant whim, but rather the natural tension that exists between God, who holds out life, and one who would reject it. Man has been turning away from God since the Creation, but man has always known through natural law that God exists, so he has no excuse.

We can also see from natural law that there are certain acts, namely homosexual acts, that are evidence that men have turned away from the natural order. The men of Sodom were particularly known for this act, though some in recent years have made the sin out to be inhospitality or some other sin. The act is what Paul says is sinful here, not the inclination. Paul is not focused on sexual sins, and continues to give other sins that may debase the mind.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

Direct download: Romans01b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:35am EST

Paul's epistle to the Romans was written in 35AD from Corinth to the Church in Rome, a group that Paul had not visited at the time he wrote the letter. Paul was returning to Jerusalem after his third missionary journey and viewed Rome as a necessary base through which he could extend his ministry further to the west. Rome was a well-established church at the time, and may have been the cause of agitation over "Chrestus" that Suetonius mentions. Paul was not going to build a church on top of the existing Church there.

Paul intended to send the letter as a contribution to the Romans before going up to Rome himself. To this end, he talks about his mission to the Gentiles and the pitfalls of antinomianism, which is opposed to Paul's explanation of the obedience of faith, and legalism. Romans also was an important text the interpretation of which led the Protestant faiths to break away.

Paul begins by calling himself a slave of Christ, and this implies a certain authority for Paul. Paul also calls himself an apostle, a word used to signify the twelve and also anyone sent on a missionary journey. Paul can claim to have an authority similar to that of Peter, though his mission was to the Gentiles while Peter's was to the Jews, so both would apply to him.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian's Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

Direct download: Romans01a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:52pm EST