Trying again, and trying some different things than last week’s video. But I’m still looking at the grammar in Romans 12, and the application of this content is way harder than the observation of it.
I dusted off the old YouTube channel today. I started posting videos there in 2007 (it could drive now if it wanted to, or at least have a permit). And, you know, one of my videos has almost 8,000 views, so it’s pretty serious. But I’ve been toying with how to share some of my love of diagramming, and a friend suggested that I try an app called Explain Everything. EE has its own cloud service to host finished videos, but the shortened link it produces doesn’t produce a preview image in the social media sites I tried. Hence dusting off the YouTube and posting there. This is a first, rough attempt, and, amusingly, there is not really any diagramming (but there is great grammar talk, so stick around!). I’ve turned on comments for any feedback.
I’m sharing my work a little differently this time. Instead of making the Greek line diagram prominent, you can view it for Romans 5:1-2 here. For the main action, here’s a block outline in English.
Though the paragraph probably includes the first five verses of the chapter, I’m finding plenty about peace to keep me occupied.
I didn’t get an actual line diagram done this week for Romans 4:18-25, but it’s the English block diagram/outline that most probably care about anyway. So, here it is.
Here’s my diagram for Romans 3:27-31. The words in grey are grammatically assumed, meaning that they are not actually in the Greek text, and most English translations also reflect the sentence fragments. But when all the expected words are included, especially in verse 27, it really seems to be making a point about boasting (spoiler: boasting is right out).
And the English block/outline (also with grey as inserted for sake of complete sentences):
This is it.
If you had to pick just one paragraph from the New Testament, it would be hard to do better than Romans 3:21-26. Here is the righteousness of God manifested, not by works but by faith (alone), as God justifies sinners through the redemption and propitiation of Jesus Christ.
And for the ones who prefer da English:
I’m here for your grammatical-meditation-edification again with a block diagram in English as well as a line-diagram in Greek for Romans 2:5-11. This is another one of those not whether but which issues, and the storehouses are eternal.
I really do get that not only does not everyone judge line-diagramming to be as fun and fruitful as I do, most grok even less with the Greek. So last week I went back and added a block diagram in English, and this week I’m leading with it. There’s even some overlap with colors, which, might help show the connections, but you can judge for yourself.
I haven’t posted any of my line diagramming in a while. In fact, since the previous one, I’ve finished studying/preaching through Revelation and am now into Romans. But this is still more unveiling, not of God’s eschatological/telos wrath, but of abandoning/trajectory wrath.
Here is the final paragraph of Romans 1, showing not only the cognitive bias men have against acknowledging God, but also the cultural disobedience that He gives them over to.
Here is a block diagram in English that attempts to show some of the same dependencies and relationships.
The obedience of faith may be one of the most underrated and underused expressions in the Scriptures. It’s only used twice, once in Paul’s greeting to the Romans (Romans 1:5) and again in the benediction of Romans (Romans 16:26), but we should use it more often.
There are a couple proposed interpretations for the phrase.
One possibility is that πίστεως (“of faith”) is a genitive of apposition, where the genitive restates the same idea as in the main noun, or what’s sometimes called an epexegetical genitive, where the genitive clarifies the meaning of the head noun. If that’s the case, the Paul’s mission was to bring about “obedience, that is, faith,” so that obedience is a larger category of which faith is a more specific kind. That interpretation could work. It’s at least theologically correct, and could be compared to John 6:29 where Jesus called faith a work of God (to be done). And since “believe” is an imperative (Mark 1:15), faith would be obedience to the command.
But πίστεως seems to me to better fit the pattern of the genitive of source (or genitive of production). Pauls’ mission was to bring about “obedience derived from or sourced in faith,” or even with the gloss, “obedience produced by faith.”
When I think about the flow of the letter, with the emphasis on justification by faith followed by Paul’s immediate response to anticipated arguments about faith and grace denying the obligations of obedience, especially in chapters 5 and 6, it causes me to lean toward the interpretation of the (necessary) obedience that comes from faith.
I also take Paul’s quote from Habakkuk about the righteous living by faith (Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:17) to refer to faith-driven righteous behavior, not just faith-received justification, though it has to start there.
The Great Commission requires that disciples be taught to “observe all that (Jesus) commanded” (Matthew 28:19). This means that complete obedience to the Lord is the mission, though we understand such a life starts with faith in Him.
We are forgiven by grace alone through faith alone, and then re-formed, still by grace through faith. But this re-formed obedience is a post-requisite. We are being transformed (Romans 12:1), we are being conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). This is sanctification. Our resurrection in Christ causes us to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4), and sometimes we need to have the feet of our hearts washed again (see John 13:10). The whole thing is from faith to faith (Romans 1:17), and obedience is the fruit of healthy faith.
Faith is no more an enemy of works than the sun is an enemy to flowers. Obedience is the bloom, the color, the fragrance of salvation in the flesh. It is the obedience of faith.