THE TWO GREAT SECTIONS OF THE BOOK OF ROMANS
I treasure very much the outline and sectional divisions of the book of Romans in the New Testament Recovery Version. I feel that they have been done in an excellent and concise way. However, tonight I will not speak according to them. Rather, I will give you something new. I will show you that Romans is divided into two main sections. Just as a watershed is a mountain with two slopes dividing a river into two sections, in the same way, Romans is divided into two sections by a watershed. This watershed is Romans 5:10, which says, “For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved in His life.” This verse is too precious! We had passively become enemies of God, and we also were behaving as enemies of God. At that time, we did nothing good. All that we did was to act as enemies of God. Even the sisters who look so gentle today were enemies of God before they were saved. But praise God, while we were yet enemies, God has reconciled us to Himself through the death of Christ His Son. This is one slope of the watershed. Having been reconciled, we shall be saved in His life. This is the other slope of the watershed.
One slope is the death of Christ. The other slope is the life of Christ. His death is for redeeming us, and His life is for saving us. These two terms are very different. Redemption plus saving is salvation. If we only enjoy redemption without being saved, we only have the first half of salvation. The biblical principle is always that that which comes first is not so good, and that which comes afterwards is better. For example, in John 2 with the sign of changing water into wine, the first wine was not the best wine (v. 10). The wine which came later was the best wine. In Numbers 18:17, the firstborn were to be killed, but those born afterwards were saved. To be redeemed is only the first half of God’s salvation. This aspect of salvation is not that high. When one enjoys the saving in life—the second half of God’s salvation, the experience of salvation is much higher.
Before Romans 5:10, there is the slope of Christ’s death. From 5:10 until the end of the book in chapter sixteen, there is the slope of Christ’s life. When you go back to your localities, you can tell others that Romans is divided into two sections. The first section is on Christ’s death, and the second section is on Christ’s life. Christ’s death redeems us, justifies us, and reconciles us to God. This is full redemption. At the same time, the life of Christ saves us. The content of this saving is very rich. It is not as simple as redemption.
Being saved in the life of Christ can be divided into nine great items. None of these has been covered by others before. For example, the first item is that the law of the Spirit of life has freed us from the law of sin and of death (Rom. 8:2). The first item in the saving of Christ in life is a law freeing us. This law is the law of the Spirit of life. This law of life is the Triune God. The Spirit of life is the ultimate consummation of the Triune God. Hence, this God is the Spirit of life, and this Spirit of life is a law.
We know that a law comes from life. Life itself is a law. Every living creature is a law. The cat is a law. The dog is a law. The cow, the bird, and the fish are all laws. A human being is also a law. Hence, the cat lives a cat’s life, the dog lives a dog’s life, man lives a man’s life, and God lives God’s life. God is the highest living being. Hence, He is the highest law. Thank the Lord, this highest life is in us today. This highest life has become the highest law in us. This is the first item of the salvation in life in the book of Romans.
THE SUBJECT OF ROMANS—THE GOSPEL OF GOD
Promised by God in the Holy Scriptures concerning the Son of God, Jesus Christ Our Lord
According to the Flesh—Humanity, Coming Out of the Seed of David, and according to the Spirit of Holiness—Divinity, Designated the Son of God in Power Out of the Resurrection of the Dead
Our Lord Jesus Christ came out of David, the descendant of man, according to the flesh, according to His humanity. He was also designated the Son of God in power out of the resurrection of the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, according to His divinity. Apparently, the word designation does not imply birth. Actually, designation means begetting. When Jesus died, He lay in the grave and was ranked with the dead ones. But in less than three days, He was resurrected from the dead. This resurrection marked Him out in a particular way. His resurrection from the dead designated Him the Son of God in His humanity. Hence, He was begotten the Son of God in resurrection. This proves that the resurrection of Christ is a birth (Acts 13:33). Originally He was the only begotten Son of God. After He became flesh, and through resurrection, He was born the firstborn Son of God in His humanity. At the same time, we were also begotten as the many sons of God in resurrection.
(Salvation in Life in the Book of Romans, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)