Romans Overview

 

               The book of Romans is a sixteen chapter book that Paul wrote to the church in Rome before he actually visited them.  The book of Romans was written while Paul was on his third missionary journey.  He was planning on going to Rome shortly after writing his letter and actually did go as a prisoner as he was arrested in Jerusalem upon his return from his third and final missionary journey.

               In the first chapter of the book of Romans Paul opens up with his introduction.  He has similar introductions to all of his letters usually ending with something similar to “grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Also in the introduction Paul goes through the power of the Gospel.  In verses 8-15 Paul goes on to tell of his plan and longing to visit the church in Rome so that he may teach them and help them learn.  Verses 16-17 talk about the theme of Romans and can be the theme of the whole Bible.  These verses say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believers: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.  For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” 

               For the rest of chapter 1 through half of chapter 3 Paul starts talking about the condemnation of the mankind and the need for God’s righteousness.  For the rest of chapter 1 Paul is specifically writing to the Gentiles and talks about God giving them over to “shameful lusts and depraved minds.”  In all of chapter 2 and the beginning of chapter 3 Paul is speaking specifically to the Jews.  Paul goes into detail about God’s judgment and goes on to talk about the law and circumcision having no value outside of righteousness.  Paul even talks about the unrighteousness of the Jews in the Old Testament when they were only living under the law and circumcision.  He closes this thought of condemnation by saying that all men (both Jew and Gentile) are accountable to God. 

               For the rest of chapter 3 through chapter 5 Paul talks about justification and the provision of God’s righteousness.  In the rest of chapter 3 Paul talks about the righteous living by faith.  In chapter 4, Paul talks about how faith was the standard for Abraham and David and it remains the standard for believers now.  Paul then says that faith is more than a tradition and is greater than the law.  In chapter 5, Paul says that the result of righteousness is peace and joy in Christ Jesus and closes by contrasting Adam with Christ.

               In chapters 6 through 8 Paul talks about sanctification and the demonstration of God’s righteousness.  Chapter 6 specifically goes talks about identifying with Christ and being a slave to righteousness.  In chapter 7 Paul talks about the law.  He says the law is dead and talks about the purpose of the law being for people to know what rules to uphold.  However, it is impossible to uphold the law apart from Christ.  Chapter 8 is about the power of the Holy Spirit, future glory, and conquerors.

               Paul talks about restoration in chapters 9 through 11.  Chapter 9 really talks about Israel’s rejection and lack of faith in God.  In chapter 10 Paul talks about how salvation in the Old Testament (Moses) is the same as in the New Testament.  He also talks about Israel’s rejection of the Gospel towards the end of chapter 10.  In chapter 11 Paul talks about how Israel’s rejection was not total and that “all Israel will be saved.” 

               In chapters 12 through some of chapter 15 Paul’s theme is application.  Chapter 12 is about living righteously through our bodies, our gifts, and our lives.  Chapter 13 talks about living righteously through our submission and interaction with others.  Chapter 14 is about living righteously through unity in diversity, personal sacrifice, and authentic worship. 

               The second half of chapter 15 through chapter 16 is Paul’s conclusion of the letter to the church in Rome.  In the latter parts of chapter 15 Paul tells the church in Rome to plan and take the gospel to where it has not been taken yet.  Chapter 16 is Paul’s conclusion to the church in Rome.  He closes saying “to God be glory forever through Jesus Christ!  Amen.”

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