Summary: An introduction to the book of Romans with an emphasis on what the gospel is.
Sermon title: The Power of the Gospel
Paul’s letter to Rome- The Bk. of Romans.
We will be studying the book of Romans in detail for the next while.
· Why does Paul write this letter particularly since he did not start the church in Rome?
· Why is he so interested in this church?
i. Paul’s purpose and motive could be one of these two view points:
a) He wants to share his basic theological understanding of the Gospel, so the Church can get to know him and begin a relationship with them.
b) The second view sees Paul as a pastor and missionary, concerned about real problems, such as the disunity in a church he had never visited but knew enough about to address. Focus on a how to live a Christian life? Also with the intention to get the financial support of the church to carry out a successful mission to Spain.
Trans. Let us look at some scriptures which declare his desire and purpose.
· Rom.1:13- He had a desire to visit but never could until now
· Rom. 15:23-25-He would stop in on his journey after stopping in at Jerusalem and then proceed onto Spain. Thus he is preparing them to collect an offering for the trip to Spain and for the church there in Spain.
Trans. Now that we have understood the purpose and reason for Paul’s letter some may ask how did he know the problems and struggles with in this church?
· He knew that this church had disunity amongst the Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles because:
I. When we read in ch.’s 14 and 15 we see that he is addressing some specific problems there. It is believed that prior to AD.49 the emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome. Thus when the Jews there were forced out of Rome Paul met a number of these Christian Jews and got to know them,(Priscilla & Aquila Acts 18:2 (quickview) ,3 ;Romans 16:2 (quickview) ,3).) and after Nero took over the leadership of Rome he then permitted them back, thus these Christian Jews had went back to Rome with their relationship to Paul already established they would be continually able to write to Paul, and obviously informing Paul of the problems there. The book of Romans was written after Ad 54.
II. This may explain some of the tensions between The Jews and Gentile Christians, the two groups may not have seen eye to eye after the removal of the Jews the Gentiles were left on their own to run the church there.
When did Paul write this letter? Late AD 50’s.
Where did he write it? Probably in Greece, spent three months there. Paul went to Macedonia after leaving Ephesus, then on to Achaia(Greece), on to Jerusalem and finally on to Rome. It is believed that Paul wanted Rome to be the centerbase for evangelistic endeavors- it is true that all roads did lead to Rome. Thus he implores Rome for support of an evangelistic endeavor in Spain. It is also believed that while the Jews & Gentiles were having their disputes, the intention of Paul was to get them to work together on this evangelistic project, thus barriers could be broken and prevent a split in the church- all would support the gospel going into Gentile lands.