René A. Lopez 21st Century Press 2005-02-01

In this commentary on Paul’s grand Epistle to the Romans, Lopez combines fine exegetical observations with keen theological insights. The book sparkles with a delightful emphasis on salvation by grace alone while also focusing on God’s provisions for believers in their struggle against sin.

Lopez’s discussion of the “old man” and “new man” in Romans 6 is refreshing. In his view the “righteousness” in the phrase “obedience resulting in righteousness” (6:16) refers to righteous living, not justification. Paul, he says, set forth two choices for Christians. They can either “obey sin,” which breaks their fellowship with God, or they can obey God, which results in their experiencing “the moral righteousness that allows a Christian to experience life” (p. 137).

Lopez argues cogently that Paul’s struggle in Romans 7 refers to his conflict as a believer, not as an unbeliever. The dying and living in 8:13 “convey temporal, not eternal, realities” (p. 170). As believers are led by the Spirit, they “experience life in its fullest sense filled with meaning and significance” (p. 171).

Not all readers will agree with the author’s view that Romans 5:9, which speaks of being delivered from God’s wrath, refers to His punishing sin in believers in this life (p. 213).

The discussion on Romans 9–11 presents a strong defense of dispensational premillennialism.

Pastors will appreciate the fresh insights from this commentary, and serious lay students will enjoy the emphasis on the epistle’s description of the believer’s walk by faith.

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