Summary: The Study Of Romans and Galatians
The Study Of Romans and Galatians
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
The letters to the Romans and to the Galatians are often studied together because they have the same theme - salvation from sin is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not through the Law of Moses (Romans 1:16,17; 3:21,22). There were false teachers called Judaizers in the early church. Judaizers were Jews who believed in Jesus as the Christ. However, they refused to accept the truth that the New Testament had replaced the Old as the law and guide for God’s people. They taught that Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved.
When Judaizers came to Antioch, Paul and Barnabas stood against their false teaching. Since these false teachers had come from Jerusalem, and also claimed the church in Jerusalem believed as they did, Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem to discuss the matter. They met with the inspired apostles and elders who agreed with them that Gentiles were justified by faith without keeping the Law of Moses. These inspired men wrote a letter to the churches stating this (Acts 15).
Judaizers continued to trouble the Lord’s church for many years. Because Paul strongly opposed them, they attacked him. They denied he was really an apostle. They tried to destroy his influence so they could destroy the Gospel he preached (1 Corinthians 9:1-4; 2 Corinthians 10:1-13:6; Galatians 1:6-2:21).
The book of Romans was written by Paul to the church in Rome. It was written about A.D. 57 while Paul was in Corinth. He was staying in the home of Gaius, a Christian he had baptized with his own hands (Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14). Paul had often planned to visit the church in Rome, but up to this time, he had not been able to do so (Romans 1:10-13). He planned to go on from Rome to Spain to preach the Gospel. He hoped the church in Rome would assist him in this work (Romans 15:23,24).
The church in Rome had been in existence for some time when Paul wrote to them. No mention is made of Peter or of any of the other apostles being in Rome. We are not told how the church in Rome was started or by whom. We do know Jews from Rome were in Jerusalem on Pentecost. They heard Peter preach the first Gospel sermon (Acts 2:10). It is possible some of them became Christians and carried the Gospel back to Rome. Paul commended the church at Rome because their "faith was spoken of throughout the whole world" (Romans 1:8).
The letter to the Romans teaches that righteousness (justification) is only possible through the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16,17). The key to understanding Romans is the phrase "for obedience to the faith" which is found at the beginning and at the end of the book (Romans 1:5; 16:26). Sinners cannot be saved by works of their own devising. Neither can they be saved by the law of Moses. They can only be saved by loving, trusting obedience to the system of faith which is the Gospel of Christ.