The Book of Romans

Are the teachings of Paul, specifically in the book of Romans easily understood?

Are they understood correctly in the Christian communities?

God Bless you!
Patrick

That is a huge question - Romans is a long letter and encompasses a lot of philosophy. What are you referring to specifically about people not understanding?

The book of Romans, like all Paul’s letters, are not necessarily easy to understand.

In most of the letters, Paul is referring to situations (which we may not fully understand) and applying the Gospel to problems.

Romans is slightly different. Here Paul is writing to a Church he will be visiting, and is laying out his understanding of the Gospel so that they will know where he stands. It is thus (mostly) one long argument regarding the Gospel and the grace that Christ brings, while also showing how the law fits in, and the status of both Jew and Gentile in the community and before God.

Is it correctly understood by Christian churches? I believe that the Catholic Church understands what is necessary for salvation in it. Do even we fully understand all it says? Perhaps not–but the Spirit will guide us closer to that ideal.

yes the bible is and are understood in the
christian religion,

as there is the teaching of salvation by Grace alone- and the scriptures are arranged – it’s called the Roman road study–

by faith alone not by (catholic) works

but in the catholic religion-- it is confusing- and not easly understood–

this is why there is a difference-- between the 2 religious systems – and why christians are or can be baptised in the Holy Spirit- and can function in the gifts of the Spirit as described in 1 cor-ch12/14/ and even ch 13

  • and catholics practice the sacrments-- in the continuing (Effort) to get some imputed-- holy spirit grace

Indeed, Catholicism is the Christian religion. :slight_smile:

as there is the teaching of salvation by Grace alone- and the scriptures are arranged – it’s called the Roman road study–

by faith alone not by (catholic) works

but in the catholic religion-- it is confusing- and not easly understood–

Sorry, but this is simply not true. We Catholics do not believe in salvation by works. We believe in salvation by grace. Faith and good Christian works are results and fruits of God’s grace.

this is why there is a difference-- between the 2 religious systems – and why christians are or can be baptised in the Holy Spirit- and can function in the gifts of the Spirit as described in 1 cor-ch12/14/ and even ch 13

I’m afraid someone has misled you. We Catholics fully believe in and practice all in the Scriptures. We have all the gifts of the Spirit within our communities.

  • and catholics practice the sacrments-- in the continuing (Effort) to get some imputed-- holy spirit grace

Grace is not "imputed’ through the Sacraments. The Sacraments impart saving grace to us as we cooperate with God. We are expected to live lives of holiness, charity, and of evangelization. Not all of us live up to that all the time, but then neither do most others in other Christian ecclesial bodies for none of us is perfect–not yet. :slight_smile:

A lot of Romans has to do with Paul’s argument that Gentiles could be the adopted sons of God, and that all Jews were not in God’s favor. Not all Jews became the heirs of Abraham, some were cast out. Just because Jews obey the old laws such as circumcision, if they don’t have the Holy Spirit (or circumcision of the heart) they do not truly obey God’s law. It is the faith in Jesus that saves all men.

3:22 God gives this righteousness to everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ. It is his gift to everyone who believes. There is no difference between Jews and Gentiles. 23 Everyone has sinned. Nobody is good enough because God’s standards are perfect. 24 But now, God makes people righteous by his free and generous gift. He frees people from sin by means of Christ Jesus. 25-26 God gave Jesus as a sacrifice so that people would receive a right relationship with himself. Jesus achieved this by the gift of his life (in other words, when he died for us). And people receive a right relationship with God by faith in what Jesus did. So we see that God is righteous. He did not punish former sins because he is patient. This now proves that he is righteous. And also, that he makes righteous anyone who has faith in Jesus.

=CHRISTINE77;11356639]That is a huge question - Romans is a long letter and encompasses a lot of philosophy. What are you referring to specifically about people not understanding?

One “often” [a relative term here] sees non Catholic Christs quote Paul in support of OSAS.

Thanks for clarifying:)

God Bless you,
Patrick

The obvious answer to OP’s question is no. Romans is not easily understood. It is a very long letter with run on sentences and thoughts and there are not two denominations that interpret everything in Romans the same. We have dannyguy who is an evangelical presumably, who believes that Romans teaches Sola Fide and imputed righteousness. If we take the time to parse the heart of Sola Fide, Catholics and Evangelicals can actually agree that when Protestants say Faith, they are referring to formed faith (Faith informed by love or charity) vs when Catholics say Faith, they are referring to faith being merely intellectual assent. So as Pope Benedict said, we can accept Sola Fide to an extent, if faith is not divorced from charity.

We cannot however, agree with imputed righteousness. But rather infused righteousness. I believe that this is probably in the top 3 for things which divide Catholics from Evangelicals is imputed vs infused righteousness and its subsequent consequences. The other major dividers being Sola Scriptura and Apostolic Tradition.

Question 1: They are not always easily understood. As Bmonk pointed out, Romans was written prior to Paul’s visit and addressed a variety of different audiences as compared to his pastoral type letters that were written to a specific group. Also, the manner of the writing is a little distinctive from his other letters. This link would probably be of interest to you:

veritasbible.com/resources/articles/The_Epistle_to_the_Romans

Question 2: In my experience, Romans seems to be a favorites “goto” epistle among some of the faith communities that I interact with. It seems to me that the biggest interpretive factor is how people identify the personhood of Paul, and how that impacts the text. So, for those that identify Paul and being consistent with Catholic teaching, the reading is understood in a particular light. If you identify Paul as a proponent of OSAS or sinner’s prayer type of salvation, then reading it tends to cast a different understanding of the text. There is a natural tendency to identify Paul as “one of us”, so the text becomes tailored to whoever “us” is.

Romans is a great example of the necessity to remove ourselves from the text so as not to interrupt the Holy Spirit when He is trying to speak.

=dannyguy;11356725]yes the bible is and are understood in the
christian religion,

as there is the teaching of salvation by Grace alone- and the scriptures are arranged – it’s called the Roman road study–

by faith alone not by (catholic) works

but in the catholic religion-- it is confusing- and not easly understood–

this is why there is a difference-- between the 2 religious systems – and why christians are or can be baptised in the Holy Spirit- and can function in the gifts of the Spirit as described in 1 cor-ch12/14/ and even ch 13

  • and catholics practice the sacrments-- in the continuing (Effort) to get some imputed-- holy spirit grace

So my dear friend:)

It’s “OK” that one part of the bible contradicts another?:shrug:

Luke 9”23-26 “For he that shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him the Son of man shall be ashamed, when he shall come in his majesty, and that of his Father, and of the holy angels”

John 12: 48-49 He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.”

2nd. Tim. 3:16-17 “All scripture, [is] inspired of God, [and] is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.”

Matthew 4:4 “Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God”

Eph.2: 8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God”

by faith alone not by (catholic) works

Heb.6: 10 “For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.”

Rev.2: 23 “and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.”

1 Peter 1: 17 “Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, “

Matt.19: 17 “And he said to him, “One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

Rom.2: 13 “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.”

John 3:5 “Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.

James 2: 24-26 " Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead".

God Bless you friend:thumbsup:

Thanks for your post

=sousley;11356924]Question 1: They are not always easily understood. As Bmonk pointed out, Romans was written prior to Paul’s visit and addressed a variety of different audiences as compared to his pastoral type letters that were written to a specific group. Also, the manner of the writing is a little distinctive from his other letters. This link would probably be of interest to you:

veritasbible.com/resources/articles/The_Epistle_to_the_Romans

Question 2: In my experience, Romans seems to be a favorites “goto” epistle among some of the faith communities that I interact with. It seems to me that the biggest interpretive factor is how people identify the personhood of Paul, and how that impacts the text. So, for those that identify Paul and being consistent with Catholic teaching, the reading is understood in a particular light. If you identify Paul as a proponent of OSAS or sinner’s prayer type of salvation, then reading it tends to cast a different understanding of the text. There is a natural tendency to identify Paul as “one of us”, so the text becomes tailored to whoever “us” is.

Romans is a great example of the necessity to remove ourselves from the text so as not to interrupt the Holy Spirit when He is trying to speak.

Excellent reply:thumbsup:

Thank you!

=Sojourner1989;11356922]The obvious answer to OP’s question is no. Romans is not easily understood. It is a very long letter with run on sentences and thoughts and there are not two denominations that interpret everything in Romans the same. We have dannyguy who is an evangelical presumably, who believes that Romans teaches Sola Fide and imputed righteousness. If we take the time to parse the heart of Sola Fide, Catholics and Evangelicals can actually agree that when Protestants say Faith, they are referring to formed faith (Faith informed by love or charity) vs when Catholics say Faith, they are referring to faith being merely intellectual assent. So as Pope Benedict said, we can accept Sola Fide to an extent, if faith is not divorced from charity.

We cannot however, agree with imputed righteousness. But rather infused righteousness. I believe that this is probably in the top 3 for things which divide Catholics from Evangelicals is imputed vs infused righteousness and its subsequent consequences. The other major dividers being Sola Scriptura and Apostolic Tradition.

Thank you!
Well said

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums. Please stay for a while and discuss these things.

thanks
the question was can romans be understood – the answer is yes – with some instruction and understanding–=

but as Saint paul said in acts 19 did you get the Holy Spirit – and what were you baptised into?

and if you don’t get the baptism of the Holy Spirit then you are doomed to be miss led by some persons commentary–

and Paul warned timithy about having a form of religious reticual and not haveing the power of God or the Holy Spirit–

so believe what ever “commentary you want” 1 john 1:27

The Teaching Spirit | 1 John 2:26-27

/1-john/the-teaching-spirit‎

Read the Scripture: 1 John 2:26-27 … Now we have already seen that this anointing is the Holy Spirit himself, whom you received when you believed in Jesus …

and there is this 2 minute – video that shares the scripture verses-- of christians use–

and the word christian means – the anointed one- with the anointing

as this forum is a “catholic answers forum” so obviously there is a difference

between a catholic commentary and a christian commentary

or catholic “vs” christian

youtu.be/JgYFRG-umfk

Dannyguy, why do you separate Catholics from Christians?

If you are talking about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we Catholics have that. We have been guided by the Holy Spirit ever since Jesus breathed the Spirit upon the Apostles. Besides this, the Bible is our book, written by our Saints and Apostles, so we have a very firm grasp of what it means and what applies to whom.

Catholic works? I have yet to hear any Catholic preach or teach that we are saved by (human) works. We are saved by grace, which usually comes through the means God has given us–particularly the sacraments. But those are works of God–or at least, what makes them effective is God’s working through them–not because it is humans who do it.

If you have any–ANY–official document that indicates we can be saved through works, please produce it. None such exist, because we do not believe it. Yes, once saved, our works are or can be meritorious–but salvation is not earned by works. It is a gift of a loving God.

I have received the Spirit many times–in baptism and confirmation, in my call to vowed religious life, in the call to ministry and ordination. Yes, some sacraments are repeated–because we continue to stumble, and need refreshment in the Spirit–but others are not. It is not a continuing effort to gain or earn grace, it is a continuing effort to live up to the call Christ makes to us (see Eph 4:1-4 and following).

  1. Who do you trust to have the authority to instruct you in the proper understanding of the Scriptures? The Church has the assurance of the Holy Spirit–see what Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper about the Spirit in John 14-16, as well as giving the Spirit in John 20.

  2. Yes, it is possible to receive the sacraments without receiving or accepting the Spirit and the grace–but the intent is for the sacrament to confer grace. That is the purpose of the rituals, and especially of the heart of the sacrament itself.

  3. “Catholic” and “Christian,” as well as “Orthodox” were synonymous in the early centuries of the Church. Catholic points to the universal nature of the communion. Christian points to our following Christ, and to being anointed in the Spirit. Orthodox points to our “right worship” and belief. It was in the scandal of the divided community that they became separated. Christian includes Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox, while the latter three are not so broad.

=dannyguy;11357081]thanks
the question was can romans be understood – the answer is yes – with some instruction and understanding–=

but as Saint paul said in acts 19 did you get the Holy Spirit – and what were you baptised into?

and if you don’t get the baptism of the Holy Spirit then you are doomed to be miss led by some persons commentary–

and Paul warned timithy about having a form of religious reticual and not haveing the power of God or the Holy Spirit–

so believe what ever “commentary you want” 1 john 1:27

The Teaching Spirit | 1 John 2:26-27

/1-john/the-teaching-spirit‎

Read the Scripture: 1 John 2:26-27 … Now we have already seen that this anointing is the Holy Spirit himself, whom you received when you believed in Jesus …

and there is this 2 minute – video that shares the scripture verses-- of christians use–

and the word christian means – the anointed one- with the anointing

as this forum is a “catholic answers forum” so obviously there is a difference

between a catholic commentary and a christian commentary

or catholic “vs” christian

youtu.be/JgYFRG-umfk

Danny WELCOME TO CAF:)

dannyguy;11357081]thanks
the question was can romans be understood – the answer is yes – with some instruction and understanding–=

Correct, but who does God choose, guide, guard and prtoect to do precisely that?

Mk. 16:14-15 "At length he appeared to the eleven [APOSTLES] as they were at table: and he upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe them who had seen him after he was risen again. And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mt. 28:16-20 “And the eleven disciples [APOSTLES] went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. ; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days,** even to the consummation of the world.”

Mt. 10: [pts of 1-8] "And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. And the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, … **These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying: Go ye ** But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. [7] And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give.

Jn.17:14-20 "I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. ** Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. [18] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me**;

And dear friend this is more than 1,000 years before the Protestant revolution:)

Once again WELCOME TO CAF!
God Bless you,
Patrick**

I know a lot of Protestants like to point to Romans 11:6. Is this verse clearly saying adding works negates the point of grace and is Paul clearly making the point that works in any capacity negate what grace is? I need some clarification here…

Also, what about Romans 8:24. What is the hope that is spoken about? Protestants say that hope Paul speaks of is the same hope that is spoken of in Phillipians 1:6, when he says he is confident that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus. No, not your justification which is instantaneous but rather your sanctification which is ongoing.

Is Paul saying the hope we have by our salvation is that one day in heaven we will be fully redeemed leaving behind the flesh and becoming all spirit. Is the process of being sanctified separate from your Salvation. Protestants will tell you Jesus does cover us for salvation because no matter what we can never be fully purified here on earth…then the point to Romans 8:24, where Paul talks about the hope of when we are fully purified…

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