The book of Romans is many times called “The Gospel of God“, since it presents the full gospel according to Paul. Here we see not just the fact that we are sinners in need of God’s redemption, but also that after being regenerated we are much more saved in His life, we are being daily transformed and conformed, we live in the Body of Christ, we are the local expression of Christ, and so many more wonderful things. Mainly, the book of Romans can be divided into three sections:
1. The first section of Romans, from Romans 1:1 to 5:11, covers the forgiveness of our sins and our justification by God, reconciliation to God, and acceptance by God. We are born as sinners – we offended God, we were alienated from God, we were rebellious against God, and we were enemies with God. When we received the Lord, we have been cleansed by His precious redeeming blood, we have been forgiven of our sins, justified by God, reconciled to God, and accepted by God. This is the objective aspect, something “outside of us”, done by God for us. This is the first aspect of the Gospel of God in Romans.
2. The second section of Romans – from Romans 5:12 to 8:13, covers the second aspect of the Gospel of God involving life and sanctification. Christ did not just reconcile us, redeem us, and forgive our sins – He came into us to be our life(your spirit is life because of righteousness, Rom. 8:10). The redeeming Christ who died on the cross for our sins has entered into us that we may live by Him, take Him as our life, and live in Him. Here we enjoy the divine life and live by the divine life. We are being daily sanctified dispositionally – God’s holy element is being worked into our being, and we are being transformed and eventually conformed to the image of the Son of God.
3. The third section of Romans, from Romans 12 to 16, speaks about us – the ones redeemed, who are being saved, renewed, transformed, and conformed – being the many sons of God and the many members of the Body of Christ, living a life in the local church. We are being coordinated together and joined together as the members of the organic Body of Christ. We take Christ as our Head, and as the church we are His Body, His expression. On the one hand in a personal way we enjoy the Lord and we are being renewed, transformed, and conformed, and on the other hand corporately(together with the other saints) we’re being built up together into the Body of Christ that is expressed as the local churches.
What about Romans 9 – 11? It looks like this section is a word of insertion concerning the grace of God’s selection – before the foundation of the world, God selected us; in time – according to His selection – He gives us grace, calls us, and justifies us; then He transforms us and causes us to be coordinated and built up together with the saints as the One Body of Christ to express Him.
Wow, what a complete and full Gospel of God! I thoroughly enjoyed this marvelous bird’s eye view of the book of Romans, as bro. Witness Lee presents it in “The collected works of Witness Lee, 1966, vol 3”. Lord, may we really see Your full salvation as You reveal it to us in Romans, and may we daily be saved much more in Your life + be built up as Your corporate expression on the earth!