Chapter Headings

The opening statement of Romans 5:1

Therefore, having been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is the conclusion of Paul’s argument in chapters 1-4, and should be the concluding statement of chapter four. The chapter headings were not in the original Scriptures, but were added many years later by uninspired men for our convenience in locating things. They are useful for this purpose but, often, not “very sensibly placed.  As result, they often create confusion. A “therefore,” obviously, concludes rather than begins something.

The argument which it concludes in Romans 1-4 is simply this:

  1. The Gentiles, without the law, sinned and are condemned.
  2. The Jews, with the law, sinned are condemned.
  3. Therefore all have sinned,
  4. And must, as a result, must be saved by faith, as Abraham was.
  5. This is true also of us—so that when we believe the Gospel,
  6. We are at peace with God because He has declared us righteous (justified us) by faith. And, we have peace of heart as well!

Let’s not get confused because of a chapter heading in the wrong place. Justification is by faith; God declares us righteous when we trust Christ as our Savior.

Now, how are we sanctified, progressively? Paul goes on in the 6-8th chapters to make that plain—it is by replacing the old fleshly patterns, habituated by the body (which, of course, included brain), with new, spiritual ones. How can that be done? By the work of the Spirit who enables us to produce, what Paul calls in Galatians 5, His own fruit. We are to produce the Spirit’s fruit by His wisdom and power at work in us, enabling us to obey (2 Timothy 2:22)whatsoever Christ commands us to observe (Matthew 28:20).

2 thoughts on “Chapter Headings

  1. Merry Christmas and a Christ centered New Year.
    Thank you for sharing your books and web site with us.
    God Bless you and your ministry.

  2. Two birds, one stone. Well done 🙂

    You reminded me of a silly old saying many of us heard growing up. “What’s the therefore there for?” And it’s always good to reemphasize salvation through faith and sanctification as something WE do by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Christian life involves hard work. None of this silly “let go and let God” stuff. When there’s sin in your life, you have to work to get rid of it. No amount of wishful thinking, good thoughts, or motivation by feelings will get you closer to God. I’m thankful that you and many others place God’s Word as the guide for living and overcoming sin. Thank you.