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"God Forbid"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Paul's letter to the church in Rome was a letter to strangers; he had never visited it and had had no part in its founding. For this reason the epistle is more a treatise on the nature and principles of Christianity than it is a letter. In it his principal purpose is to declare to all men the greatness of God's mercy through Christ, and to persuade them that salvation depends on faith in the grace of God, as it is expressed through Christ. His primary consideration in the first eight chapters of the epistle is the problem which lies in convincing members of the Jewish faith. In his own missionary work he has found them extremely resistant to his teachings, and now he lists every objection he can think of which they might have, answering each in turn. This portion of the epistle was probably intended to be a handbook containing material for use in obtaining conversions, and Paul doubtless hoped that converted Romans would gain a deeper insight into Jewish ideology from it. He begins the epistle by stating his qualifications and his gospel, reminding his readers that God offers salvation to all who believe in this gospel regardless of their origin. God, he adds, is angered by sin; here Paul enumerates a number of examples. His next major point is that all men are sinners and that mere observance of outward requirements will not help them unless their purity is internal and genuine. In Chapter 3 he goes on to say that observance of the law is good, but that faith in God is more...

(The entire section is 545 words.)