e-Book of Romans Chapters 6 – 8 link to Romans Chapters 6 – 8
Romans Chapters 6 – 8
Romans Chapters 6 – 8

Bible Study – Tucson (December 29, 1979)

by Herbert W Armstrong


We have been going through first Galatians and now Romans. There is quite a connection between the two. I would like to give you a slight summary of the first few chapters. Paul’s letter addresses the first chapter to those who had been Romans and were converted. The Romans fancied that they were intellectual. They looked down on Jewish Christians. But the Jews considered that they were superior because they had the Law of God. The Romans considered that they were superior to the Jews. They didn’t regard the Mosaic law of any importance because in their religion they hadn’t been taught these had to be obeyed.

So, Paul’s opening chapter is correcting the Romans because they (all Romans) had withheld the truth and had in their intellectuality and in denying God, become fools. They consequently had gone over into every licentious thing imaginable and he was calling them down for this.

Romans Chapter 2

The second chapter is addressed more to the Jewish Christians who prided themselves because they had the Law of God. But they didn’t obey the Law.

From that time on, he talks along that line. We need to know that the earliest opposition to the gospel came from unconverted Jews who did not believe that Jesus was the Christ. They were not converted. So much of the earliest preaching that we find recorded in the Bible in Acts, and the letters of Paul was testimony of the resurrection of Christ proving that He was the Messiah. They had spent 3 1/2 years with Jesus. Then they had spent 40 days with Him after His resurrection – so they had been eyewitnesses. This is the strongest proof you can get of the resurrection. Many believe that they were preaching about Christ instead of preaching about the Kingdom of God. That is not true. Much of their early preaching to unconverted Jews was their eyewitness testimony that Jesus was the true Messiah and that the Jews were responsible for His death.

False Doctrine of Penance

But then we come to another place where they are talking to those who had been converted. Those who had been Jews and were though converted still following something that the Jews had had. The pagan religions did not have any of the doctrine that the Christian religion had in the area of the forgiveness of sin – how Christ’s death forgives our sin. Instead, they had a system of self-punishment. They felt this would equal the evil that they had done and square it up. It didn’t. Sin is against God. Punishing yourself doesn’t please God or make you any better in His sight.

The Jews borrowed this principle from the Gentiles. One thing the Gentiles would do is take a long plank and drive nails into it and then turn it down so the nails were sticking up and then walk over those nails barefooted. This was to square up their sins.

Jeroboam and Samaria

In the days of Ezra and Nehemiah there was a colony sent back to Jerusalem to build the second temple. It was only part of the Jews and the Jews were only part of Israel. The whole nation of Israel had been divided way back almost 1000 years before Christ and had been divided into two nations. It was right after the death of Solomon and the northern kingdom rejected Rehoboam the king who was the son of Solomon and the grandson of David. They set up Jeroboam as their king and they made their capital at Samaria, which is up north of Jerusalem. Well then, Judah separated from them in order to keep the king Rehoboam and Benjamin stayed with Judah.

The first thing that Jeroboam now king up at Samaria, The first thing he did when Israel made him king was to change the feasts of the seventh month to the eighth month. Now it isn’t stated in the Bible but by putting what is stated in the Bible together, a little bit of putting two and two together. It is strongly implied. He also changed the day of worship from the Sabbath to the day after. Since the Sabbath is the seventh, a lot of times they call Sunday the eighth day, although it is also the first day of the week because we begin counting the days of the week all over again with Sunday. That is where Sunday began and that was way back 1000 years before Christ that began in Israel.

Now the nation Israel had never been called Jews. Jews is a nickname for the tribe Judah. Now, the next thing that Jeroboam did was to put the Levites out of the ministry. They were the priests of the nation, all the born Levites. They were the highest educated, and they did not farm or work to produce a living. But they lived on the tithe of the people. Now, since they were one of the small tribes and Joseph had the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that means there had been 12 other tribes. Nearly all of which were a lot larger in number of people than Levi and the result is the Levites had about 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 times the income, which we would use money as an exchange today. They were also the best educated and had the better minds and the better training. Jeroboam deposed them and put the lowest, the most ignorant of the people in the priesthood. Well, the result is that practically all, maybe all I don’t know, but it was all, or most all of the Levites went down to join with the tribe of Judah. That became not the kingdom of Israel, but the kingdom of Judah, which consisted of three tribes. Now Judah, Benjamin and Levi, they were called the Jews.

Never was the big nation of the ten tribes ever called Jews. The first place that the word Jews occurs in the bible 2 Kings 16:6 you will find that Israel was at war against the Jews. People today think that all Israelites were called Jews and that is not true at all. People just don’t understand the Bible, because apparently they don’t read it. They read a verse here and a verse there once and a while. They read it out of context and don’t now what is before it and after it. They get all mixed up. Now after Judah was taken captive in 721-718 B. C. and taken away from the land as slaves. They went over into Assyria and within 100 years, the Assyrians with them had migrated north and west or northwest. The Assyrians settled down in the land that we call Germany today, both east and West Germany. Now Germany is divided. Part of it is under the Soviet Union but the Germans are merely the descendants of Ancient Assyria, not Syria but Assyria. The ten tribes of the Israelites kept going on farther west and settled in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway and in England.

Now in the meantime Jeroboam, the first king after they had rejected Rehoboam, had changed from the seventh to the eighth day. The seventh day Sabbath God had made a sign between Him and Israel. If you see a sign hung out and it says ‘Smith and Company furniture’ or ‘H Jones and Sons Drugs’ you know a sign identifies. It tells you what it is, what kind of a store, who owns it, and it is a means of identification. The Sabbath is a means of identification. It tells Israel who God is. Because in six days God did the creation of this world as it is today. All plant and animals, people, and so on, and on the Seventh day, He rested and was refreshed. It also identifies who are the people of god because they are the only people, the only nation, who ever kept Sabbath or Saturday as the Sabbath. No other nation does and no other nation ever did, as a nation. It was a sign.

Who do people think that the Jews are? All that there is of Israel. Because that they’ve kept the Sabbath. I don’t mean that they keep it like they should, but at least they keep it in name and they don’t reject it. That identifies them as being the people of God as if Israel had kept it. They never would have lost their identity. They got into speaking a different language as soon as they were taken to Assyria, and by the second and third generation, they weren’t speaking Hebrew anymore. They got to thinking that they were Gentiles. They didn’t even know who they were. The world doesn’t know to this day, who they are, or where they are. That’s one thing that no church, but our church understands, that truth. Yet, its plain in the Bible and my book on that will soon be printed in bookstores all over.

The Second Temple

Now 70 years after the Jews or Judah had been taken, invaded by Babylon, Babylon had won that war and took them as captives away from Judah and over to Babylon as slaves. Seventy years later, the Persian Empire had succeeded Babylon and now the king of Persia was in charge. God moved on him through the spirit that was in him to have a certain number of Jews sent back to form a colony in Jerusalem. They were to build a second temple because between 604 and 585 BC the king of Babylon had completely destroyed the temple that Solomon had built at Jerusalem. There was not even one stone let on top of one another. It was just totally gone and so a group went back who was under a man named Zerubbabel. He was the governor along with him was the high priest Joshua and then about the same time also came the two prophets Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra and Nehemiah each wrote a book in the Bible and the book of Haggai and the 4th part of the book of Zechariah, near the end of the Old Testament, give all the history about this colony of the Jews, which is only a part of the Jews now. The Jews are only a part of all Israel and it tells about them.

Now after them, about a generation or two later, remember they went back there about 515 BC. The Jewish rabbis in this colony began to take the physical laws and the rituals, the ceremonial law of just physical things to do morning, noon and night that were in the Law of Moses as a temporary substitute until the Holy Spirit should come. Also, the animal sacrifices, which were a temporary substitute until Christ should come and become the Lamb of God and be slain. They made those things especially the ritual law; they made that their means of self-punishment to expiate their sin. In other words instead of taking a plank and walking on nails, now you had to obey this ritual law which was very difficult and things you had to do every day and that would justify your sins. In other words to justify is to forgive, is what it means. Technically, it means to make just or wipe out the penalty so that is all that hangs you the penalty of what is past. Now the Jews that were converted in the early years wanted to keep all those ritual laws. They wanted to get justified. Whereas, the apostle Paul is teaching, as the apostles all did, that we are justified of past guilt because Christ paid the penalty in our stead and of course he died by shedding his blood. The blood is the life and when the blood is gone out of your body you are dead that’s all. They looked on that as the means of justification.

God’s Law of Love

In Romans, Paul then, after showing how the Jews had prided themselves on having the law, is still talking to converted Jews. A lot of them now wanted to keep the ritualistic law, which was a physical law and not the spiritual law, the Ten Commandments. The spiritual law is one word, LOVE. It is outgoing loving concern for the welfare of others. It is love toward God and love toward neighbors. It is not in coming lust, but out flowing love. God is love and love flows out from God. God isn’t trying to get anything from us one way or the other. He wants to give us of His love of eternal life of everything good, but He isn’t trying to get anything from us. So, Paul now to these early Christians, who where Christians and had been Jews, he gets to talking about this law as we have been covering in the first five chapters of Romans.

Romans Chapter 6

So, Paul continues, “what shall we say then, we continue in sin that Grace may abound.” He is showing that Grace is an undeserved pardon and an undeserved gift. It really is two fold, one Grace means that you are pardoned from your past guilt that hangs over you for breaking God’s law, but it also is something else. God not only forgives, but He gives you His Holy Spirit. Grace means having God’s Spirit by Grace as well as the forgiveness of sin as a result of Grace. Now there were some preaching and it was the doctrine of the Nicolaitans that since it showed how great, loving, and kind God is because He, through the blood of Christ would forgive our sins. That showed the greatness and glory of God, therefore, the more God had to forgive, the greater it made God. To make God greater, they said ‘Let’s go on and sin more and then ask Him to forgive it that makes God greater.’ They actually had what you call temple prostitutes back in those days. They just went into every wrong kind of sex feeling that made God greater because the greater their sin, the greater is God’s Glory in forgiving all of that sin. Now Paul is trying to show that is just a lot of foolishness. It is not true at all. “Shall we sin more to make God greater?”

Verse 2: “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” We only have the Holy Spirit because we have repented of sinning – we have repented not only of sin, but of sinning. We don’t want to continue in it.

Verse 3: “Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” This is water baptism.

Verse 4: “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death (if you stayed under the water you would be dead): that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Coming back up out of the water in the form of baptism means a type of the resurrection – the old self is buried in baptism – we come up to live a new life. That is the meaning of water baptism.

Verse 5: “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”

Verse 6: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him (the kind of person we were when we were sinning), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” We come up to live according to the law of God – love – giving and not getting.

Verse 7: “For he that is dead is freed from sin.” From that part of your life, sin is often a matter of habit – and this is your boss you are sin’s prisoner. A person who smokes is a slave to a cigarette.

Verse 8: “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.”

Verse 9: “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death has no more dominion over him.” He is giving an analogy here. Christ can never die again. God can’t die. It is a great miracle that Christ was called the Word and gave up His immortality that He could become human and die. But God raised Him from the dead and now He is immortal and cannot ever die again. Once we have left everything that is wrong behind us, we should not ever go back to it again.

Verse 10: “For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God.”

Verse 11: “Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The doing of sin, the thinking of sin, the wanting of sin is what we leave – it is dead.

Verse 12: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Sin becomes a habit. If you are in sin, you are the slave of that habit. It is ruling you.

Verse 13: “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God.” I have just mentioned one of the small sins – that of smoking. I think there are degrees of sin. The Bible doesn’t say so directly, but I know that men who sinned in the Old Testament and were men of God – who had more wives than they should have had, etc. But because their hearts were otherwise right, God overlooked that to some extent. God said to David once that he had had many wives and concubines and that He would have even given him more if that had been good for you. The thing that God held against David wasn’t so much having Bathsheba brought to him – it was a weakness, not a deliberate rebellion, but what he did in saving himself – having the husband of that woman killed – that was a premeditated thing. The adultery wasn’t thrown up to David it was the murder.

I think Solomon remained all right with God after he became king and began to take extra women on. But finally Solomon had 1,000 women. Even then what God blames him for was serving their idols and being disloyal to God. There is an example in Ezekiel 17 of a colony left in Jerusalem who had made a solemn agreement with the King of Babylon who had left this small colony there. Then when the King of Babylon wasn’t looking they made an agreement with the King of Egypt and crossed the King of Babylon. God held them severely accountable for that. God won’t stand that kind of thing. Do you know that the United States has just got through doing that in the last year or so? We made a solemn agreement with National China and then we double-crossed them and made an agreement with Communist China. That was wrong. I am not in politics, but I deplore the fact that the United States double-crossed Nationalist China and God is going to hold this nation accountable. The whole nation will be punished for that and all of us here are going to suffer. When it happens, remember this afternoon and how I told you. I told one of the three men at the very top of the government of China what is going to happen. He knew what I meant. I said I don’t expect you to believe me now, but my job is to tell you. When it happens, you remember I told you. There is nothing I can do besides that. “As those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

Verse 14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.” A lot of people think this means you don’t have to obey the law – that you either have law or grace That is NOT true. Under the law means that you are liable for the penalty if you have broken it. The penalty is over you and you are under it. You are not under the law until you break it. They don’t understand that.

Verse 15: “What then? Shall we sin (break the law – he is talking about the ten commandments here. Paul talks about two entirely different codes of law in Romans and Galatians – the physical law and the spiritual law), because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”

Verse 16: “Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servant to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death or obedience unto righteousness?”

Verse 17: “But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”

Verse 18: “Being then made free from sin (not free from having to obey the law, but from transgressing the law), you became the servants of righteousness.”

Verse 19: “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”

Verse 20: “For when you were the servants of sin(or transgressing the law), you were free from righteousness.” We have people who have been in the Church and have gone out. We had an English girl who graduated, married an American boy and then got bitter and left the Church. She was so thankful that she wasn’t under the Government of God. That is the way people talk who don’t want to be under obligation to do right. They want to be free to do what is wrong and they call that freedom.

Verse 21: “What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.” What good did it do to be free to do those things if now you are ashamed of them?

Verse’ 22: “But now being free from sin (not free to sin), and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

Verse 23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is the scripture that started me thinking that everything I had been taught in Sunday school as a boy was wrong. You are not an immortal soul, otherwise, how could you die? If I was an immortal soul, how come I needed eternal life as a gift? I found that this teaching had been wrong.

Romans Chapter 7

Romans 7:1 “Know you not brethren (for I speak to them that know the law) how that the law has dominion over man as long as he lives?”

Verse 2: “For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives. (Not technically one of the ten commandments but based on the ten commandments – one of the statutes which carried out the principle of the Commandments), but if the husband be dead she is loosed from the law of her husband.”

Verse 3: “So then, if while her husband lives she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”

Verse 4: “Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the law (dead to breaking the law) by the body of Christ that you should be married to another, even to him that is raised from the dead; that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” In other words, now we are married to Christ – we were married to breaking the law – it was our master- like our husband. Now we who are In the Church, even though we are men and are part of the Church that will marry Christ – we take the part of the woman collectively.

Verse 5: “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin transgressing the law, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.”

Verse 6: “But now we are delivered of the law, that being dead wherein we were held (because we were breaking the law. You can see how people can take only one part of this and twist what Paul was saying – you have to read that whole thing); we should serve in the newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” In II Corinthians 3: we find that Paul says that Christians should live according to the spirit of the law and not the letter. That means the obvious intent of the law (illustration of daughter, Beverley reading her books).

Verse 7: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said ‘Thou shalt not covet.’ It is obvious here that he is talking about the ten commandments not the ritual law as in most of Galatians.

Verse 8: “But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.”

Verse 9: “For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.”

Verse 10: “And the commandment, which was ordained to life (because it is the right way of life, the way of everything good), I found to be unto death.” Because he was disobeying it.

Verse 11: “For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me and by it slew me.”

Verse 12: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just and good.” They don’t like that verse.

Verse 13: “Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear to be sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.” He didn’t really know it before.

Verse 14: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal and sold under sin.” These are very important verses. The works of the law are the physical, material law; but he is talking about the spiritual law, the Ten Commandments here.

Verse 15: “For that which I did I allow not: for what I would (because he sees by the commandment that he should do it), that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”

Verse 16: “If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.”

Verse 17: “Now then it is no more I that do it, but it is sin that dwelleth in me” because he doesn’t want to do it. This is what habits do. No Christian is living perfectly.

Verse 18: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

Verse 19: “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”

Verse 20: “Now if I do what I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.” It has gotten in us as a matter of habit but that is where the Christian life has to be a matter of overcoming and you don’t do it all at once. You have to struggle with it until you finally do get it right.

Verse 21: “I find a law then, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.”

Verse 22: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.”

Verse 23: “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.”

Verse 24: “0 wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”

Verse 25: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” He is coming to show us that the only way we can do it is through the power of the Holy Spirit that God will give us. The eighth chapter is the Holy Spirit of the Bible.

I think we need to read a little bit into the 8th chapter to make sense of this.

Romans Chapter 8

Romans 8: “There is now therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.”

Verse 2: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Verse 3: “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh (I think it refers to the law of rituals here which couldn’t make him righteous, even keeping the ten commandments can’t make you righteous of yourself. It takes the love of God by the Holy Spirit. We don’t have the kind of love that will do it), God sending his own son in the likeness of flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”

Verse 4: “That the righteousness (or right doing) of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” I believe that the first thing that the Holy Spirit does is to open our minds to understand the truth of the Bible. I’ve got a lot of commentaries that try to explain every verse in the Bible, written by very fine and wise men. But they don’t know a thing about the Bible, they don’t have their minds open.

Verse 5: “For they that are after the flesh (following the flesh) do mind the things of the flesh (or obey them); but they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit.”

Verse 6: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

Verse 7: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

Verse 8: “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Verse 9: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” That is the definition of a Christian. He is one who has the Holy Spirit of God and he is showing that the law is spiritual and we are carnal and we have to have the Holy Spirit to give us the love in order that we can keep the spiritual law. God is ready to give it to us when we want to surrender and believe.

Excerpts of the book “A Voice Cries Out” on Who and What is God:You can’t know what God is unless you know what His character and nature is. It can be summed up in one word – LOVE – the way of giving, sharing, co-operating in that, which is right and good. Devoid of lust, greed, vanity, self-centeredness, competition, strife or violence or envy or jealousy or rebellion or resentment of authority. God’s way is the way of peace, happiness, justice. God’s purpose is to create such character within certain of His created living beings – men. This creation of character in those beings requires mind in them. Of all living beings only angels and humans have minds. Therefore, it is so far only in angels and humans that God’s character can be formed.

Paul didn’t state these things in this language. He is saying that we wouldn’t know what sin is except the law tells us. God uses the principle of duality. He created the earth in an unfinished state intending the angels to finish it – thus sharing in His creation. He creates character in the same way. Righteousness and perfect character is something God cannot create instantaneously. Perfect character is the ability of a separate entity having power of mind and free moral agency and ability to think, reason and make decisions and to choose the right as opposed to the wrong and to do the right even against desires to do the wrong. And finally, to overcome pulls toward the wrong.