Romans 1-8 are amazing chapters.
They need to be read in order and fully. Paul is presenting a whole message in logical format. He is building a case, much like an attorney would do in a trial.
I’d like to give you (if it is of any worth) my summary of Paul’s message, and the key verses that state it.
Romans 1 – Pagans sinned – they refused to acknowledge God.
1:28 – “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
Romans 2 – Jews sinned – they had the law but did not obey it.
2:23 – “You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.”
Romans 3 – Gentiles sinned – they too are under sin.
3:10-12 – “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Romans 3 – Trying to obey God’s law shows your sin. You cannot, by your efforts, earn God’s acceptance.
Romans 3:20 – “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”
Romans 3 – The only way to be accepted by God is by faith in Jesus and his payment of our sin.
3:22-24 – “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”
Romans 4 – Abraham also was accepted by God by his faith.
4:3 – “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
Romans 5 – By our faith in Jesus, we are at peace with God, reconciled to him.
5:1 – “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5 – Our acceptance with God is not earned, it is a gift, lasting eternally.
5:17 – “…much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”
Romans 6 – We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves of God. We are free from sin and the law being the rulers of our lives. Now God himself can rule our lives.
6:11 – “you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 7 – The law points out sin, and shows we still sin, even if we don’t want to. Our human nature, will power, effort is not strong enough to not sin.
7:19,20 – “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
Romans 8 – Even though we sin, we are not condemned, because of our relationship with Jesus, whom we believe.
8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8 – We live by faith in God, not faith in ourselves.
8:6 – “to set the mind on the flesh [our efforts] is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit [God will work in us] is life and peace.” 8:11 – “he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
Romans 8 – While on earth, we feel the struggle with sin, but we belong to God, and he will redeem our bodies.
8:23,24 – “not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.”
Romans 8 – In the meantime, the Spirit helps us, interceding for us.
8:26,27 – “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness…the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Romans 8 – In life there is suffering. But God is for us. Nothing can separate us from his love.
8:31 – “…If God is for us, who can be against us?” 8:37,38 – “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I hope this helps you see that our whole relationship with God is based on his love, his grace, his redemption for us. We live by faith in him, not in ourselves. He is the one who gives us eternal life. In this life on earth, as we struggle with sin, we do not look to ourselves, but to the Holy Spirit in us, who will work in our lives as we walk by faith in him.
How amazing that God lets us trust him, know him, that he would enter our lives giving us eternal life!