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Summary: Introduction to Romans

ROMANS - Justification

INTRODUCTION: Romans was the 6th Epistle written by Paul. It is the 1st in the canon of our Scriptures because it stands out as the greatest doctrinal defense of the Gospel of all his Letters..

I. The Author of the Book -

A. Paul (1:1) - Though his name only appears once, 1st person pronouns are used 198 times.

B. Paul identifies himself in Romans as:

1. A Servant {“Slave”} (1:1)

2. An Apostle {“Messenger”} of Jesus Christ (1:1)

3. An Apostle to the Gentiles (11:13)

4. A Jew (9:3-4)

5. A Pioneer Missionary (15:15-20)

C. Tertius - The Penman of the Book

1. Paul's eyesight was greatly diminished after his Damascus Road vision, and possible malaria. (Acts 9:7-8 (quickview) , 18; Gal. 4:15)

2. He was therefore unable to under take the arduous task of writing such a lengthily Letter.

3. Tertius was the scribe employed by Paul to write the Letter (16:22).

II. The Recipients of the Book

A. The City of Rome

1. Founded about 753 BC;

2. Did not become a significant World Power until about 150 BC;

3. Located on 7 mountains along the bank of Italy’s Tiber River;

4. 3,000,000 population in Paul’s day;

5. Political center of the World.

B. The Church at Rome (1:6-7, 15).

1. No record of its beginning.

· Possibly from Pentecost converts (Acts 2:10 (quickview) )

· Possibly from converts of Aquilla & Priscilla (Acts 18:2 (quickview) ; Rom. 16:3-5)

· Possibly converts of Peter (No Biblical record of Peter ever going to Rome).

· Possibly converts of Paul who had immigrated to Rome (Rom 16:1-16).

2. Paul had not been there personally, but had long desired to visit (1:9-13; 15:22-29);

3. Probably established several years before Paul wrote Romans (1:8).

4. Evidently very large Body of Believers: Tacitus records that Nero persecuted “immense multitudes” of Christians.

III. The Date & Place of Writing

A. Date: Probably in the year 58 AD. The Epistle was written during Paul’s three month stay in Corinth, Greece, on his third missionary journey (Acts 20:2-3 (quickview) ).

B. Place: The place of the writing is determined when we notice the disciples mentioned in the Epistle: Phoebe (16:1-2), Gaius (16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14 (quickview) ), and Erastus (16:2; 2 Timothy 4:20 (quickview) ), are all connected with Corinth, while Timothy was with Paul during this missionary journey (16:21; Acts 19:22 (quickview) ; 1 Corinthians 16:10 (quickview) ).

IV. The Purpose of the Book

A. To reveal his desire to visit Rome and to pave the way for his eventual coming (1:10-11; 15:24).

B. To have an immediate written ministry, since his personal ministry has been providentially hindered (1:13).

C. To answer the question of God's future purpose for Israel (chapters 9-11).

D. To present a clear exposition of justification by faith because of the legalistic Judaizers who were attempting to deceive the people (Romans 16:17-19 (quickview) ).

V. The Keys to the Book

A. The key thought = Justification: “to set free”, used only in Romans; used only 3 times (4:25; 5:16-18), kindred words (justified, justifier, justifieth, justify and justifying) are found 61 times in the Bible, and 14 times in Romans.

B. The key phrase = "The righteousness of God ". (1:17; 3:5, 21, 22; 10:3).


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