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The Just Shall Live By Faith- Romans 1

The Bookends of Romans

Good writers often plant subtle “bookends” in their work to emphasize key points of their message.

In Romans Paul began and ended the book with paragraphs containing core elements of its teaching.

Romans 1:1-6

1:1 gospel

1:3 concerning his Son

1:2 through his prophets in the holy Scriptures

1:5 obedience of faith

1:5 among all the nations

Romans 16:25-27

16:25 gospel

16:25 preaching of Jesus Christ

16:26 through the prophetic writings

16:26 obedience of faith

16:26 to all nations

These phrases give the focus of the book. It is about the gospel, the preaching of Jesus. This is a message seen in the Hebrew Scriptures for all the nations resulting in the obedience of faith.

After the introduction there is a powerful beginning to the main section of the book

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.” (My emphases. Romans 1:16-17 ESV)

This powerful paragraph which quotes Habakkuk contains the core concepts of the bookends of Romans. Paul took the advice that God gave to a prophet facing a time of judgement and showed how it was not only for that situation. It summed up the entire Christian life from beginning to end. The rest of the book developed this truth. The just shall life by faith from their spiritual birth through faith in the message of salvation through their growth in Christlikeness during their pilgrimage on earth.

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