Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review: Romans Chapters 1-8

Thru the Bible Commentary Series: Romans Chapters 1-8. J. Vernon McGee. Thomas Nelson. 170 pages.

My February reading project was to read the book of Romans thirty times. I also wanted to read a few books about the book of Romans.

McGee goes through the first eight chapters, paragraph by paragraph, discussing important themes and concepts of the gospel as revealed in the book of Romans. Readers will get a chance to learn about: sin, wrath, justice, righteousness, justification, sanctification, imputation, propitiation, etc.

This commentary is very reader-friendly. It's a commentary meant to be read and understood by non-scholars. McGee often quoted others in his work. Perhaps feeling that if another commentator had a great definition for a key term, there was no need to try to make it better! McGee's voice is strong throughout, however, and he addresses readers in a friendly, personal way.

There is a great introduction:
The world likes to hear, friend, about the glory of mankind. It likes to have mankind rather than God exalted. Now I am convinced in my own mind that any ministry today that attempts to teach the glory of man--which does not present the total depravity of the human family and does not reveal that man is totally corrupt and is a ruined creature, any teaching that does not deal with this great truth--will not lift mankind, nor will it offer a remedy. The only remedy for man's sin is the perfect remedy that we have in Christ, that which God has provided for a lost race. This is the great message of Romans. (x, xi)
It was Godet, the Swiss commentator, who said that the Reformation was certainly the work of the Epistle to the Romans (and that of Galatians also) and that it is probable that every great spiritual renovation in the church will always be linked both in cause and in effect to a deeper knowledge of this book. It was Martin Luther who wrote that the Epistle to the Romans is "the true masterpiece of the New Testament and the very purest Gospel, which is well-worthy and deserving that a Christian man should not only learn it by heart, word for word, but also that he should daily deal with it as the daily bread of men's souls. It can never be too much or too well read or studied; and the more it is handled, the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes." (xi)
After outlining the entire book, McGee then devotes a chapter for each chapter of Romans one through eight.

Favorite quotes:
Each one of us is completely lost outside of Christ. Either you are absolutely saved in Christ, or you are completely lost outside of Christ. All of us need the righteousness of Christ. The righteousness of Christ comes to us through our faith in Christ. Great men of the past have given some apt definitions of this righteousness. William Cunninham wrote, "Under law God required righteousness from man. Under grace, He gives righteousness to man. The righteousness of God is that righteousness which God's righteousness requires Him to require." That is a deep definition, but it is a good one. The great Dr. Charles Hodge has given this definition: "That righteousness of which God is the author which is of avail before Him, which meets and secures His approval." Then Dr. Brooks gives this definition, "That righteousness which the Father required, the Son became, and the Holy Spirit convinces of, and faith secures." Dr. Moorehead writes, "The sum total of all that God commands, demands, approves, and Himself provides." I don't believe it can be said any better than the way these men have said it. (67)
How I wish that more men who claim to be evangelical really believed the Word of God--that it IS the Word of God, that it is God speaking. (79)
Let me say a word about this matter of sanctification. There is a difference between justification and sanctification. These are two words from the Bible, my friend, that you ought to cozy up to and get acquainted with... Now let me put it like this: justification is an act; sanctification is a work. Justification took place the moment you trusted Christ--you were declared righteous; the guilt was removed. Then God began a work in you that will continue throughout your life. I believe in instantaneous salvation, but sanctification is a lifelong process. In other words, justification is the means; sanctification is the end. Justification is for us; sanctification is in us. Justification declares the sinner righteous; sanctification makes the sinner righteous. Justification removes the guilt and penalty of sin; sanctification removes the growth and power of sin. (103)
The sinner appropriates Christ by faith for both his salvation and his sanctification. (104)
The victorious life is not our life. It is His life. (163)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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