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Summary: Intro to Romans

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Text- Romans 1:1-7

Title- Introduction to Romans

Romans 1:1-7 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; 7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. Basic Background Information?

-Who?

- Paul

- To the believers in Rome

- When?

- After the 3rd missionary journey

- Where?

- From Corinth

IV. What is the Outline of Romans?

V. Why was the Book Written?

- Romans reveals God’s sovereign plan of salvation

- Romans is to show how Jews and gentiles fit into the plan of salvation

- Romans was written to exhort us to live righteous lives

For those of you that have more than one child; if I were to ask you to tell me which of your children was your favorite, you’d probably have a hard time doing it. It might not be that hard for some of you. Maybe you would pick the one you’ve known the longest, or the one that looks most like you.

For Bible scholars asking them to pick a favorite book of the Bible is like asking you to pick your favorite kid. You love them all in their own unique way. However, Romans is widely accepted by commentators and theologians as the most important book of the New Testament.

Romans has been referred to as “the crown jewel of the NT”. It is identified as Paul’s “magnum opus”. William Tyndale called it, “the principal and most excellent part of the NT”

John McArthur says, “The study of the epistle to the Romans remains a required course in the school of Christian discipleship.”

Romans is placed as the first of Paul’s epistles in the Bible, but it was not the first letter that he wrote. His letters to the Thessalonians were probably his earliest biblical writings. So if this isn’t his first letter, why is it placed at the beginning?

Martin Lloyd-Jones answers this question by simply stating, “I would suggest to you that it is here in the first position because the church was given wisdom by the Holy Ghost to realize that it is first in importance.”

The book of Romans is also important because of it powerful impact throughout history. In my church history classes, it seemed like Romans was responsible for some major shifts in Christianity over the centuries.

In 386ad a man was sitting in a friend’s garden. He was distraught, depressed, and lost. He heard some children singing nearby saying, “Pick up and read, pick up and read”. He picked up the scroll that was setting beside him; it opened to Romans 13:13-14

Romans 13:13-14 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

He wrote about that experience and said, “No further would I read, nor did I need; for instantly, as the sentence ended, by a light as it wee, or security infused into my heart, - all the gloom of doubt vanished away”

The man was Saint Augustine. (And now you know the rest of the story.) St. Augustine went on to become one of the most important theologians and protectors of the faith in all of church history.

A thousand years later in about 1515 a catholic professor was teaching a class on the book of Romans. This teacher wrote,

“I greatly longed to understand Paul’s epistle to the Romans, and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, ‘the righteousness of God’, because I took it to mean that righteousness whereby God is righteous and deals righteously in punishing the unrighteous…Night and day I pondered, until… I grasped the truth that the righteousness of God is that righteousness whereby, through grace and sheer mercy, He justifies us by faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before ‘the righteousness of God’ had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gateway to heaven.”

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