Summary: A look at the Book of Romans
Chapter 1:1 – 15 Do I Ever Have Something To Tell You
Chapter 1:16 - 17 Truth, As Powerful As Dynamite
Chapter 1:18 - 32 Would God Send A Whole World To Hell?
Chapter 2 Religion Won’t Save You
Chapter 3 Prove That You Are Not A Good Person
Chapter 4 Work Or Promise, You Choose
Chapter 5 A Power That Is Stronger Than Sin
Chapter 6 So Then, Why Do We Still Sin?
Chapter 7 Why Doesn’t My Life Have Power?
Chapter 8 Free At Last, …I’m Free From Sin
Chapter 9 Why God Does What God Does
Chapter 10 How Are You Saved, Anyway?
Chapter 11 This Always Has Been God’s Way
Chapter 12 Laying It All Down
Chapter 13 Rethinking This World
Chapter 14 Freedoms That Can Hurt
Chapter 15 I Want To Come And See Ya
Chapter 16 Say “Hi” To Everyone
Romans: Here To Set God’s People Free!
Every time we consider or study the Bible we are worshipping. We are not doing just an intellectual exercise. This letter was written by a great pastor in love with God’s people.
The first letter written by the Apostle Paul was Thessalonians but Romans is a letter that comes face to face with the key foundational truths of the Scriptures.
The Seven Keys of Romans
1. The Key Theme: The Gospel Of God
2. The Key Word: Righteousness
3. The Key Verses: Romans 1:16-17
4. The Key Chapter: 3
5. The Key Doctrine: Justification
6. The Key View: The Lord Our Righteousness – Romans 10:4
7. The Key Conclusion: Man is Justified By Faith apart from the Law
Romans is like the “boot camp” for the Christian – it is the basic training of the Christian.
Wrote in 56AD-58AD – near the end of Paul’s third missionary journey. Written from Corinth. The letter was carried by one of the deaconesses of the church in Cenchrea, Sister Phebe.
1. What is the most memorable letter you ever received? Why?
2. What was the most important letter you ever wrote?
On May 24th, 1738, a discouraged missionary went very unwillingly to a religious meeting in London. There a miracle took place. About a quarter before nine, he wrote in his journal, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given to me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.
That missionary was John Wesley. The message he heard that evening was the preface to Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans. Just a few months before, John Wesley had written in his journal: I went to America to convert the Indians, but Oh! who shall convert me? That evening in Aldersgate Street, his question was answered. And the result was the great Wesleyan Revival that swept England and transformed a nation.
Paul’s Epistle to the Romans has changed the lives of many. Augustine. Luther, John Bunyan and Wesley all trace their conversions to encounters with God’s truth in this letter. Countless other less famous men and women have encountered God in mighty ways through Romans.
The Multi-Racial Church At Rome
The church at Rome:
We don’t know as much as we would like to about its membership, but it was clearly multi-racial. The church founders were likely Jewish (see Acts 2:10), but we can imagine that Gentiles, non-Jews, became believers there as they did elsewhere during the early spread of the church. Certainly in the 40s, when the emperor Claudius expelled all the Jews from Rome, the remaining church was completely Gentile. Later, when Jewish Christians returned to Rome, the church was again multi-racial.
Consider the likely makeup of this church: many of the Jews would have been poor and lived in the Jewish ghetto outside the city, on the other side of the Tiber. And even those Jews who were better off financially still lived a fragile social existence. They could be run out of the city as a whole, and Jewish Christians could also be ostracized by non-Christian Jews who found these followers of Jesus too “different” for comfort. Gentile believers at this time would have fared better in society at Rome. Beyond that, we don’t know much about their specific life circumstances. But we do know that when Jewish and Gentile believers came together for worship, their differing cultures led them to express their Christian faith differently. And in the differences lay disagreements and conflicting attitudes.
Jewish Christians were tempted to think of themselves as superior, the “blue bloods” of the church—despite their precarious social existence in a Gentile world. After all, wasn’t it to Jews that God gave the Law? And weren’t Jews the true heirs of father Abraham?