Before we move onward we have to call to mind the warning from Peter. Peter knew firsthand what it is that Paul is conveying to the believers, that is, after their deep encounter in Galatians 2:11-12.
“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.”
Peter is trying to play both sides of the field. He is trying to please his long time friends in living according to the traditions of men while knowing the truth of the followers of Messiah. Once Peter finally “gets it” he tells the rest of the followers: 2 Peter 3:16 “He (Paul) speaks about these things in all his letters in which there are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures.”
This is what the Circumcision Party was doing. They were teaching that a person had to go through various events to receive salvation. And Paul is describing the difference between salvation and righteousness all throughout Romans.
6 Among whom are ye also the called (invited) of Jesus Christ:
7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints (set apart): Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 1:9 “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:”
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that (because) your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey (success in reaching Rome) by the will of God to come unto you.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart (give over) unto you some spiritual gift (a kindness, pardon or rescue), to the end ye may be established; (to confirm a certain direction)
12 That is, that I may be comforted together (to urgently counsel, encourage or admonish) with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I would not have you ignorant (unlearned), brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto, (was held up by ___)) that I might have some fruit (produce converts) among you also, even as among other Gentiles. (tribes and nations)
14 I am debtor (I owe this to) both to the Greeks (educated), and to the Barbarians (nomadic, uneducated); both to the wise (philosophers), and to the unwise (secular).
15 So, as much as in me is (that which is pervasive), I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
Let’s look at Righteousness as defined in the Scriptures:
Righteousness: Deuteronomy 6:17-25 “Carefully observe the commands of the Lord your God, the decrees and statutes He has commanded you. Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that you may prosper and so that you may enter and possess the good land the Lord your God swore to give your fathers, by driving out all your enemies before you, as the Lord has said. “When your son asks you in the future, ‘What is the meaning of the decrees, statutes, and ordinances, which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ tell him, ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand. Before our eyes the Lord inflicted great and devastating signs and wonders on Egypt, on Pharaoh, and on all his household, but He brought us from there in order to lead us in and give us the land that He swore to our fathers. The Lord commanded us to follow all these statutes and to fear the Lord our God for our prosperity always and for our preservation, as it is today. Righteousness will be ours if we are careful to follow every one of these commands before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’”