Summary: Introduction to Romans
February 28, 2010
Tonight we’re going to start a verse-by-verse study through the book of Romans. There are several reasons I want to do this:
The first is because it levels the spiritual playing field as it covers every major doctrine of the Christian faith:
Together we’ll learn about the depravity of man (1-3) and God’s judgment in response (2). We’ll also see, however, the justification that comes by faith (4) and the peace that comes through reconciliation (5).
After that we’ll look to the new life that comes in Christ as we begin the struggle with sin (6-7).
In chapter eight we’ll discover many truths as we study the meaning of life through the Spirit, the purpose of suffering, God’s foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification.
In chapters nine through eleven we’ll look at God’s sovereignty, His revelation through Scripture, and His plan for Israel in the future.
Finally, in chapters twelve through sixteen we’ll study the spiritual gifts, the Christian’s responsibility to government, the Christian conscience, and Christian unity.
In short, I’m preaching through Romans because of its thoroughness in explaining the state of man and the new life of the believer. I want everyone to have the same basic understanding of the elementary principles of Christianity.
Second, I’m preaching through Romans because it explains man’s relationship with God whether sinner, skeptic, or saint:
Sinners will know how they stand. There’s this trend in contemporary Christianity to be “seeker-sensitive” and to avoid the difficult predicament of indebtedness to God. Romans doesn’t agree with this sensitivity as Paul boldly calls sin by its name and explains the penalty of that sin: judgment and death. No lost person can read this book and not understand how he stands before the Judge of heaven.
Because Romans is basically a systematic outline of theology, it also confronts skeptics with a logical defense. I don’t mean that other books of the Bible aren’t logical, and neither do I mean that everything in Romans automatically makes sense, but here we’ll find a good argument which explains the nature of man, the purpose of suffering, the need for atonement, the basis of salvation, etc. We don’t just believe because of what we’ve been told; there is good reason for belief which is outlined in Romans.
Finally, saints will better understand their relationship with God as a loving Father who has, in grace, provided all they need for victory over sin and for this life and the next.
The third reason I’m preaching this book is because it provides a reality check for everyone who reads it (1-3).
The main point of the first three chapters could be summarized in a single sentence: every single one of us has messed up, and we’re all in big trouble.
There isn’t a lost sinner who’ll plead his case, there isn’t a skeptic who will claim ignorance, and there isn’t a saved saint who pleases God by his own merit.