A good friend of mine, Bob Wilkin, wrote a great book called, The Ten Most Misunderstood Words in the Bible. As the title suggests, the book takes ten words that Christians often refer to in an incorrect manner. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend that you do!
I want to steal the idea that Bob came up with. Except I want to concentrate on just one book: Romans. Some years ago, Zane Hodges wrote a commentary on Romans. It is called Romans: Deliverance from Wrath. In that commentary, he points out that in many instances there are certain words in the book that are misunderstood by many believers. This causes a gross misunderstanding about the teachings of the Apostle Paul in the book. In a very general sense, many Christians think the Book of Romans was written to tell people how to go to heaven, that is, how to receive eternal life. However, that is not the main purpose of the book.
Part of the reason for this problem is that there are certain words in Romans that people think are talking about being saved from hell, but they are not. In the weeks to come I would like to address these words.
The reason I would like to do that is because my daughter Kathryn and I have taught a number of classes in Bible colleges and institutes in foreign countries. As in our country, when it comes to the gospel of eternal life, the students often quote from the Book of Romans. Most people reading this blog have probably heard about the “Roman Road,” in which various verses from Romans are used to tell people how to be saved from hell.
Kathryn and I often find ourselves explaining that these verses are taken out of context. They are not saying what people generally think they are saying. A major reason for that is because of certain words used in those verses. As I write this blog, it is Sunday. I visited a church today where the pastor did exactly what I am describing.
Perhaps there are readers of this blog who fall into the same trap. So, for the next ten weeks or so I would like to take a “misunderstood” word from Romans and look at what each word means in the book. I am not sure I will come up with ten, and it may not be a good idea to have exactly ten. Bob might accuse me of being a blatant thief. But I will try to deal with one a week.
I hope to accomplish a few things. One, Kathryn and I can make copies of the blogs and hand them out when we teach overseas. It might help those students. This would also save us some time by answering the questions before they are asked. Another goal will be that it will hopefully help readers of this blog. A final goal will be that it might encourage some to read Bob’s book or Zane’s commentary on Romans.
Next week, Lord willing, I will deal with the first word. What does Paul mean by the word “salvation” in the book of Romans?