As I studied this book kind of thoroughly, (just being honest) I discovered it is a great book with great examples and teaching on sin and death and sin and grace. It is one book that I plan to read over and over again and obtain wisdom on how to live daily in Christ. It is a convicting book. It is a law book. It is an instructional book. So, I wanted to share my thoughts/notes made when I studied this book. Learning about the history of places has always given me a clearer understanding of events in The Holy Bible. Allow me to share with you some information retrieved from bible.about.com:
• Rome was a relatively wealthy city and included several economic classes — including slaves, free individuals, official Roman citizens, and nobles of different kinds (political and military). First-century Rome was known to be filled with all kinds of decadence and immorality, from the brutal practices of the arena to sexual immorality of all kinds.
• During the first century, Rome was heavily influenced by Greek Mythology and the practice of Emperor worship (also known as the Imperial Cult). Thus, most inhabitants of Rome were polytheistic — they worshiped several different gods and demigods depending on their own situations and preferences. For this reason, Rome contained many temples, shrines, and places of worship without a centralized ritual or practice. Most forms of worship were tolerated. Rome was also a home to “outsiders” of many different cultures, including Christians and Jews.
• Nobody is certain of who founded the Christian movement in Rome and developed the earliest churches within the city. Many scholars believe the earliest Roman Christians were Jewish inhabitants of Rome who were exposed to Christianity while visiting Jerusalem — perhaps even during the Day of Pentecost when the church was first established (see Acts 2:1-12). Christianity had become a major presence in the city of Rome by the late 40s A.D. Like most Christians in the ancient world, the Roman Christians were not collected into a single congregation. Instead, small groups of Christ-followers gathered regularly in house churches to worship, fellowship, and study the Scriptures together. The people of Rome were tolerant of most religious expressions. However, that tolerance was largely limited to religions that were polytheistic — meaning, the Roman authorities didn’t care who you worshiped as long as you included the emperor and didn’t create problems with other religious systems. That was a problem for both Christians and Jews during the middle of the first century. That’s because both Christians and Jews were fiercely monotheistic; they proclaimed the unpopular doctrine that there is only one God — and by extension, they refused to worship the emperor or acknowledge him as any kind of deity. For these reasons, Christians and Jews began to experience intense persecution. For example, the Roman Emperor Claudius banished all Jews from the city of Rome in 49 A.D. This decree lasted until Claudius’s death 5 years later.
• Christians began to experience greater persecution under the rule of Emperor Nero — a brutal and perverted man who harbored an intense dislike for Christians. Indeed, it’s known that near the end of his rule Nero enjoyed capturing Christians and setting them on fire to provide light for his gardens at night. The apostle Paul wrote the Book of Romans during the early reign of Nero, when Christian persecution was just beginning. Amazingly, the persecution only became worse near the end of the first century under Emperor Domitian.
There were clashes between Christians of Jewish origin and Christians who were Gentiles. The earliest Christian converts in Rome were likely of Jewish origin. The early Roman churches were dominated and led by Jewish disciples of Jesus. When Claudius expelled all Jews from the city of Rome, however, only the Gentile Christians remained. Therefore, the church grew and expanded as a largely Gentile community from 49 – 54 A.D. When Claudius perished and Jews were allowed back in Rome, the returning Jewish Christians came home to find a church that was much different from the one they had left. This resulted in disagreements about how to incorporate the Old Testament law into following Christ, including rituals such as circumcision.
For these reasons, much of Paul’s letter to the Romans includes instructions for Jewish and Gentile Christians on how to live in harmony and properly worship God as a new culture — a new church.
And with that being said, today even- in the robotic and government controlled 21st century we still experience conflict in the church. The question I always wrestle with is: Why do we as Christians / Believers still have this unending conflict when we are all reading and studying the same Holy Bible? We’ve read with our own eyes, or have listened to an audio version of the bible with our own ears, yet we don’t appear to totally comprehend what God’s word is teaching us and warning us of. The things that Paul discusses with the church in Rome continue in its full blown entirety today around the world. No country is exempt. How sad! What it amounts to is that we as Christians/Believers think that we are
whilst the majority of us are behaving like OT Israelite’s being led by way too many false Moses, mountain climbing with wolves as our guides, skydiving while hanging on to the feet of a bluebird and even setting sail to the Holy Land vacationing on false doctrine. You get the gist of what I’m saying, I hope.
At the beginning and end of every day, some of us are out there trying our best to get over our human fears to do this or to do that. Fear of God has to become our dominate heart and mindset trait to get to where God wants us to be.
Job said it best in Job 28:23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.(Therefore being obedient to Him daily gives us the opportunity to know Him as one church) and in Job 28:28 , And unto man he(God) said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Speaking of ‘knockin’ on heaven’s door, Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23- Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
I hope you enjoy the journey that will teach us how to knock on heaven’s door and enter into eternity with Christ.
I Love You
Love Covers A Multitude of Sins