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

Chapter 6 of Romans starts a new section in Romans, dealing with the necessity of using our faith to be conformed to the Lord's will. We must thus strive for holiness, apart from which no man will see God. We must increase in love to establish ourselves unblameable before God and make holiness perfect in the fear of God. Paul thus makes it clear that our souls must grow or else we cannot be doing God's will.

Some have chosen to selectively quote the first five chapters to mean that works are not necessary to life in Christ, but the rest of the Bible tells us that this is wrong. Works of the law do not justify us, but works of faith are essential. James rails against this belief, telling us that faith is not of any worth if it isn't evidenced by works. James calls that dead, in fact. Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are made to do good works. We are certainly saved by grace alone, but we are given a faith that works through love.

Some misinterpreted the statement that where sin increased, grace increases all the more that we should sin to increase grace. Paul denies this, since we have died to sin, and sin should be antithetical to our existence. Our sinful selves died with Christ, and we must not go back to that state.

Not only did we die with Christ, but we were buried with Him in our baptism, a sort of miraculous circumcision of the heart, but made without hands. This baptism puts certain obligations on us, as well.

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

Direct download: Romans05a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:33am EST

Sin entered the world through Adam, and we know this because all men sin. Our flawed nature is a consequence of that sin. Sin existed before the law, and although sin is not counted where there is no Law, that does not mean that we do not have any guilt for that sin. Indeed, the Law came to increase the trespass of the sin that already existed. Cain, for example, remained culpable for his actions and the Flood came as a consequence for sin.

Some may not recognize that their sin is sin against God, and those people do not have the same sense of sin as Adam, but they are culpable nonetheless. Adam's sin was especially heinous, since he knew in a very unique way what he was doing through that sin. Yet sin continued through people who did not know sin in the same way.

Jesus is also one man, but instead of condemnation, this new man brings the grace of God. By one man's disobedience, all men became sinners, but now, through one man's obedience, all men become righteous. Even so, we must be at peace with God to accept the grace that God is offering us.

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

Direct download: Romans04b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:51pm EST

Paul continues explaining that we are justified by faith, or as the council of Trent describes, by God's grace. Not only do we need God's grace, but without it, we cannot even grope after God, and that we must use our free will to accept or reject that grace.

This grace puts us at peace with God. Since sin is a natural tension with an all-holy God, this grace puts us at peace with Him. This should give us hope, and we should exult in our hope, but also in our sufferings. Our sufferings produce endurance, through that, character, and through that, an even greater hope.

Finally, this justification through faith gives us fruit of love. God has shown his love in that He died for us while we were still sinners. If only we will allow God to love us, we will allow ourselves to be at peace with God.

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

Direct download: Romans04a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:52pm EST

Paul shows us that Abraham was not justified by his works, since his faith was not earned, but rather reckoned to him, and since we are not reckoned what we are owed, this could not have been something that was owed to Abraham. Moreover, the sacrificial system is not really a way to earn any salvation, since the remission is only a gift from God and not something earned.

Abraham's faith was not a naive faith, either. Hebrews tells us that Abraham knew that since God's promise was to come through Isaac, and that God would have to raise Isaac to fulfill the promise.

Abraham's faith was reckoned to him before his circumcision, which was a seal of the covenant, and thus he is an example of faith for both the Jew and the Gentile. Just as Abraham's faith was reckoned to him, so will it be reckoned to us if we believe.

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

Direct download: Romans03b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:24am EST