The Book of Romans (Based on KJV)
Chapters – 16
Verses – 433
Words – 9422
1. IMPORTANCE OF ROMANS
While all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable, there are some parts of the Bible that contain more doctrinal truth than others.
- St. Augustine was converted through reading Romans.
- Martin Luther launched the Reformation on Rom. 1:17: “The just shall live by faith.”
- John Wesley, founder of Methodism, was converted while listening to someone read from Luther’s commentary on Romans.
If there is one book that every Christian should understand, it is this epistle. Why?
(1) It presents DOCTRINAL truth
(2) It presents DISPENSATIONAL truth
(3) It presents PRACTICAL truth
2. BACKGROUND OF ROMANS
Romans was written by Paul during his three-month visit in Corinth (Acts 20:1–3). In Romans 16:23 he indicates that he was with Gaius and Erastus, both of whom are associated with Corinth (1 Cor. 1:14; 2 Tim. 4:20).
The letter was probably carried by Phoebe (16:1), who lived at Cenchrea, the seaport that served Corinth (Acts 18:18). Paul’s friends Aquila and Priscilla were originally from Rome (Acts 18:2), and from the greeting to them in Romans 16:3, we discover that they are back in Rome.
How, then, did the Gospel get to Rome?
Acts 2:10 indicates that there were people at Pentecost from Rome. Priscilla and Aquila were Roman Jews who knew the Gospel.
Note that the names in chapter 16 are all Gentile, indicating that Gentile Christians from other cities had gravitated to Rome and carried the Gospel with them.
These people were probably converts of Paul from other churches. Rome was the great center of the world in that day, and it was not unlikely that thousands of pilgrims made their way over Roman highways to the imperial city. Romans 1:13–15, 11:13 and 15:14–16 all indicate that the majority of the believers who received the letter were Gentiles. Naturally there was also a Jewish element in this Christian community as well as many Gentiles who had been Jewish proselytes.
3. REASON FOR WRITING ROMANS
Paul’s reasons, then, for the letter may be summarized as follows:
(1) To prepare the Christians for Paul’s planned visit, and to explain why he had not visited them sooner (1:8–15; 15:23–29).
(2) To instruct them in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith lest false teachers upset them.
(3) To explain the relationship between Israel and the church, lest the Judaizers lead them astray with their doctrines.
(4) To teach the Christians their duties to one another and to the state.
(5) To answer any slander about Paul (3:8).
4. POSITION OF ROMANS IN THE BIBLE
Romans is the first of three letters in the NT based on one verse of Scripture—Hab. 2:4, “The just shall live by his faith.”
- This verse is found in
- Romans 1:17 (the theme of Romans is the just),
- Galatians 3:11 (the theme of Galatians is how the just shall live), and
- Hebrews 10:38 (the theme of Hebrews is living by faith).
Romans is the first epistle in the New Testament
You will note that the order of the NT letters follows:
2 Tim. 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for …”:
- Doctrine—Romans (the great doctrinal book)
- Reproof—1 and 2 Corinthians (where Paul reproves sin)
- Correction—Galatians (where Paul corrects false teaching)
- Instruction in righteousness—Ephesians and Paul’s remaining letters (where Paul teaches holy living based on Christian doctrine)
5. THEME OF ROMANS
Paul’s basic theme is the righteousness of God.
The letter to the Romans covers several universal themes:
Our Need for Salvation
- Romans affirms that people of all times and nations are sinners and are in need of salvation.
God’s Grace and Our Faith
- It also points to the fact that neither the law of Moses nor any work by humans has ever been, nor can ever be, the means of salvation.
Scope of Salvation
- Paul tells us in Romans that the scope of salvation is broader than individual souls and the church, for it includes the renewal of creation (Romans 8:19-21).
- Sin and grace are universal and can be traced to their ultimate sources in Adam and Christ.
- The only hope for all of humankind – whether Jew or Gentile – is total trust in Christ for salvation.
- Regarding believers’ discharging their duties, Paul asserts that love is the key characteristic in relating to the state, the church, neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ, and themselves.
- Indeed, Paul lived in faith before God; and with great spiritual insight, he taught that total trust in Christ frees us to love God and neighbor.
- Have you placed your trust in Christ? Is He your Savior?
- Are you experiencing and living in God’s grace?
- Are you actively sharing the Good News of God’s amazing plan and scope of salvation?
- Are you showing God’s love to one another, your family, neighbors & co-workers?