Biblical Worldview in Romans
Most people do not have a Biblical Worldview, and even those who claim to have one, may be lacking serious truths about what defines an accurate Biblical Worldview. Jesus Christ once asked his disciples “Who do the people say that I am?” The answers were interesting, to say the least. Some people considered Jesus a prophet, some thought him a great teacher. The question was then phrased directly to the disciples. “Who do YOU say that I am?” It was Peter that answered correctly: “You are Christ, the Messiah.” Jesus informed him that he had answered correctly, but added a caveat: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) This verse signifies that knowledge of Christ does not come from any feats or abilities of man, but from only one source – a revealing of the identity of Christ through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps the most crucial question regarding one's salvation is this: “Who is Jesus Christ to you?” The answer to this question varies greatly, even within the visible church, but it is my opinion that unless the Christian's answer to this question lines up with the scriptures found in the book of Romans, they'd do well to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling”. In the following paragraphs I will present and defend the Biblical Worldview as found in the Book of Romans. Namely, that we are saved by faith in Christ Jesus, and that this faith is a gift from God, so that no man may boast.
Step one of developing a proper Biblical Worldview is to establish the fundamentals: The existence of God, and his attributes. Romans 1:17 states that God is righteous. This righteousness of justification is received exclusively through faith, not by works, so it comes to all those with faith, whatever their race. In Romans 1:18 God's wrath is explained. There can be no excuse for those who suppress the truth, and it is upon those unrighteous that God's wrath is revealed. Romans 5:9 further explains God's wrath by noting it is the believer being cleansed through the blood of Jesus that will prevent the believer from experiencing the righteous wrath of God. God is never changing, and being a just God, there must be unbelievers to cast His righteous judgment upon. Truly there is not one person who is good in and of himself, and here is where God's grace is manifest in perfect contrast with his righteous judgment; that though all have sinned and are worthy of the punishment of death, He saves those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, thus receiving the forgiveness of their sins by the blood of Jesus crucified on the cross.
God's eternal, divine power is explained further in Romans 1:20 by mentioning that through Him all things were created, and that His attributes have been clearly visible “ever since the creation of the world”. Surely the stars in the sky, down to the vast canyons on earth, and the raging waters, all glorious in and of themselves, point directly to the divine nature of an all powerful God who created them. “The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork”(Psalms 19:1, ESV). Romans 1:23 describes God as immortal, as is evident in His implied existence before the creation of the universe, seeing as how God himself created all things, God therefore must have existed prior to the creation (Romans 1:25) of all things, and still exists now in the upholding and maintaining of all things currently in existence. The promises of Christ's return point to God's future existence, as we will be seated at the right hand of God through Christ Jesus, to praise and worship God for endless days.
A holy and righteous God who executes judgment in truth is displayed in Romans 2:2 and 14:12. Those who pass judgment on others while participating in similar sin are called out for their hypocrisy in Romans 2:2. The text has the following to say on the matter: “For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things” (Romans 2:1-2, ESV) Both believers and non-believers will one day bow and declare with their tongues that Jesus is Lord. This is a judgment which is portrayed in the text “So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12, ESV) Even if the whole world lies about the truths of God, the things of this world will pass away, but God's truth will always remain. “Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, 'That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged'” (Romans 3:4, ESV)
Romans implores us to speak truth now so that when we reach the inevitable judgment seat, we might be found justified in the eyes of our Lord. As the creator of all things, the title of “Giver of Life” must certainly also be applied to our God. God made a covenant with Abraham, that Abraham will be the father of many nations. This promise is sure to be kept by the God “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Romans 4:17, ESV) This same God that created us has also shown a deep love for us. Romans 5:5 speaks of God's love for us, shown by the gift of the Holy Spirit being poured into our hearts. This was made possible by the sacrifice of God's only begotten son, Jesus Christ. This was done while we were yet sinners. “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, ESV) An awesome God who created all things is most assuredly sovereign over all things which He created.
Before the creation of the world, God knew us, and predestined us to work together for good for the purpose of His glory. “...for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:27-30, ESV)
Romans 8:9-11 gives believers hope through the explanation that as a believer we have Christ's spirit living in us. We are told that if the Spirit of God dwells in us, then the God who raised Christ up after the third day will most assuredly raise us up as well. Romans 13:1-7 outlines how we should respect God by respecting the authorities He has placed over us. To deny authority of one placed in power over you is to deny the Christendom of Jesus, and so we are instructed to pay to all what is owed to them. “taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:7, ESV)
An eternally wise God who gives hope is portrayed in Romans 11, 15, and 16. God is so wise that we as humans cannot fully understand even a fraction of his ways. It is the Holy Spirit that can search all things, including the mind of God, and it is solely through the Holy Spirit in us that we can have a glimpse of an understanding of God's thoughts and will. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit and the revealing of God's traits to us, we can have hope. Romans 15:13 calls God “the God of hope” and prays that God will fill us with “joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope”. We can have hope of our salvation through a genuine receiving of the Holy Spirit within us.
The book of Romans clearly points out that Christ is the source of all creation. All creation, including humans (called the first born of the Spirit) groans inwardly as we wait eagerly for our glorified state. Creation groaning to be set free from its bondage to corruption and humans groaning as we wait to be adopted as sons and daughters of Christ, thereby redeeming our bodies. (Romans 1:18-32) God's love for us is demonstrated by the Holy Spirit interceding for us in prayer, as “we do not know what to pray for as we ought....and he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God”. (Romans 8:26-27, ESV)
Romans teaches that sin began with humans, that the penalty for sin is death. Our God is a jealous God, so when we take his creation and fashion idols out of them, then begin worshiping the creation instead of the creator, this causes God's righteous anger to rise and the wrath is poured out on the unrighteous ones. Many claim to be wise, yet have exchanged God's truth for lies, and for this reason God has given them up to dishonorable passions (Romans 1:18-26) God, in seeing our weakness, and out of His complete love and compassion for us, has provided a means of escape for the righteous judgment due to all of us ever since the fall of the first man; Adam. Just as one man caused original sin, so again shall one man provide a salvation for all of humankind whom will believe.
With our tendency to be boastful, it is clearly expressed in Romans that we are saved solely by Grace through Faith in Christ, and that even this Faith is a gift of God, so that no man may boast.(Romans 3:28) It is clear in Romans that Christians should be set apart, not conformed to the world but instead transformed by the renewing of our minds. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2-3, ESV)
A major problem in the world today (and even back in the time of the post-Acts New Testament books) are people identifying as Christians yet living worldly lives. These are the people whom are “using the Lord's name in vain”. The title of Christian comes with the expectancy that your thoughts, deeds, words, and actions will reflect (to the best of your ability) those of Christ's. Sects like Mormons like to consider themselves Christians, yet their belief system is in such contrast to that of Christ's teachings, that they'd be better off calling themselves something else completely.
Following Christ's teachings is the major tool every Christian has at their arsenal when it comes to Ethics and Eschatology. We are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) To succeed in this, we must “die to our selves” by denying ourselves the fleshly wants and desires we are subjected to by being born into original sin. In one sense we are humans in the flesh, here on earth. But as God's chosen elect, we are also in Christ, seated at the right hand of God. And as Christ is holy, so shall we also be holy. We can show this holiness by being subject to those in authority over us, by caring for the widows and orphans, by forgiving those who wrong us, and by loving others as we love ourselves.
In conclusion, to sum up the major parts of the Books of Romans correctly, one must be able to confess that God has always existed, that through Christ all things were made, through the fall of Adam all men are born into sin, that the way we are saved is through God's gracious gift of faith to us, that it must be that way so that no man may boast in being saved by any of his “works, that those who are saved will be easy to spot by the way they live their lives for Christ, and that anyone not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ will receive an outpouring of God's righteous wrath upon them.