Tomorrow we’ll look a bit closer at the personal things of the Romans; we’ll take a look at…
The Gentile challenge
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.
“Christ is the end of the law” – although the Greek word for “end” (telos) can mean either (1) “termination,” “cessation,” or “(2) “goal,” culmination,” “fulfillment,” it seems best here to understand it in the latter sense.
Christ is the fulfillment of the law (see Matt 5:17) in the sense that He brought it to completion by obeying perfectly its demands and by fulfilling its types and prophecies.
The Christian is no longer “under the law” (6:15), since Christ has freed him from its condemnation, but the law still plays a role in his life. He is liberated by the Holy Ghost to fulfill its moral demands.
5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
“The man which doeth those things shall live by them” – Lev 18:5 speaks of the righteousness to which Israel was called under the Sinai covenant.
Some understand Paul’s purpose in quoting it here as describing the way of obtaining righteousness (“shall live”) by keeping the law.
Others think that the reference is to Christ, who perfectly fulfilled the law’s demands and thus makes salvation available to all who believe in Him (see Heb 5:9).
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
10:6-7 – the purpose of the Old Testament quotation is to explain the nature of the righteousness that is by faith.
It does not require heroic feats such as bringing Christ down from heaven or up from the grave.
Deut 30:12-13 in its original context refers to the law, and Paul here applies the basic principle to Christ.
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
“The word is night thee” – in the Old Testament passage the “word” is God’s word as found in the law.
Paul takes the passage and applies it to the gospel, “the word of faith” – the main point being the accessibility of the gospel.
Righteousness is gained by faith, not by deeds, and is readily available to anyone who will receive it freely from God through Christ.
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
“Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus” – the earliest Christian confession of fait (cf. 1 Cor 12:3), probably used at baptisms.
In view of the fact that “Lord” is used over 6,000 times in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) to clear that Paul, when using this word of Jesus, is ascribing deity to him.
And yes, if you are wondering, God wants you to confess your sins to Him audibly, but in private.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
“No difference between the Jews and the Greek” – there is no difference between people, we are all the same in the eyes of God.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
Roads and Places
How did people travel in Roman Britain?
In Roman times people travelled on land on horseback, in carts pulled by oxen, or walking. Before the Romans, Britain had no proper roads.
The Roman soldiers built good roads. All the roads they built were remarkably straight.
The Romans knew that the shortest distance from one place to another is a straight line, but their roads did zigzag sometimes, to make going uphill easier.
The Romans built their roads on foundations of clay, chalk and gravel.
They laid bigger flat stones on top. The road sloped from the middle to ditches on either side, so rain water drained off.
What was it like in Roman Britain?
Most of Roman Britain was wild, with forests and hills where few people lived.
Away from the towns, people lived in villages of round wooden houses with thatched roofs, much as they had before the Romans arrived.
Some wealthy Romans lived in villas. Villas were large farms with a big house for the owners. Servants and farm workers lived in small wooden houses.
Villas had rooms with painted walls and mosaic floors, baths and central heating. Most of the Roman villas found by archaeologists are in the south of England.
What were Roman towns like?
The Romans built towns in Britain, with walls and gates to let people in and out.
Before the Romans came, people lived in villages, though some big settlements were like towns but with only wooden buildings.
Roman builders used stone, brick and tiles. Some Roman towns were built at Celtic places.
For example, Calleva Atrebatum was a Roman town built on a settlement of the Atrebates tribe. Its modern name is Silchester.
Roman towns were neatly laid out. Streets crisscrossed. There were shops, workshops, houses and yards for animals.
People gathered in the market and meeting area, the forum. The basilica was both a law court and town hall.
Many Roman towns had public baths; open to everyone, and an amphitheater. By 100 A.D., London was the biggest town in Roman Britain.
Is Manchester a Roman town?
If a place-name has ‘chester’ or ‘cester’ in it (from castrum, the Roman word for a fort), it’s almost certainly Roman.
Many towns grew up close to or on the site of a Roman fort. Examples are Chester, Gloucester, and Manchester. You can probably find more.
What were the finest Roman homes?
The biggest and grandest Roman homes were villas and rulers’ palaces. The governor of Britain had a palace in London.
Another palace was beside the sea, at Fishbourne (near Chichester in West Sussex).
Archaeologists have uncovered the ruins. The house had about 100 rooms, an underfloor heating system, and lots of mosaics. You can still see some today.
When they built a road across boggy ground, Roman engineers put down bundles of sticks and sheepskins as foundations, to stop the road sinking.
The heavy goods vehicle of Roman Britain was a four-wheeled cart pulled by up to eight oxen.
The Romans buried their dead along roads out of town. The idea was that ghosts would not find their way back to their old homes.
Roman towns had public lavatories (for men). There were large pottery jars at street corners for men and boys to ‘wee’ in. The jars were emptied at night.
Urine was a useful chemical. It was used to bleach cloth. Romans also used urine to make toothpaste!
The finest Roman homes had glass windows, but because the glass was thick and usually a greenish color, it can’t have been very light inside.
…family and children aspect.