Book type: Letter (Epistle)
Author: Apostle Paul
No. of chapters: 16
Key character(s): God, Jesus
Brief description: Romans – The revelation of God’s righteousness in salvation through Jesus the Christ for all persons.
01) Introduction: Qualifications & reason for writing (1:1-15)
02) Theme: The power for salvation & the righteousness of God are revealed (1:16-17)
03) All people need salvation from the power of sin (1:18-3:20)
04) God provides righteousness through Jesus Christ on the basis of faith (3:21-4:25)
05) Salvation in Christ results in victorious new life (5:1-8:39)
06) God is faithful in all his promises (9:1-11:36)
07) The saving mercy of God in Christ summons Christians to obedience (12:1-15:13)
08) Conclusion (15:14-16:27)
How should the salvation revealed in Jesus the Christ influence the way we live & understand our relationship with God? It was mainly regarding this question that Paul wrote to the church in Rome sometime around 55 AD.
Paul knew from his own experience (Acts 9:1-19) that the gospel was “the power of God for… salvation” (Romans 1:16 & that he was under obligation to make it clear what salvation should mean in the lives of people (1:16-17). From his experience with churches, he knew the Romans needed to keep some things firmly in mind if they were to realise the fullest benefits of salvation:
01) Who needs to be saved?
02) What can people do to be saved?
03) What is the source of salvation?
04) What is the practical result of faith in Christians’ lives?
05) As Christians, can we trust God, or must we fear his judgement?
The letter to the Romans provides the most extensive discussion in the New Testament of several doctrines that can deepen our theological understanding & Christian commitment. The righteousness of God, the salvation of Christ brings, & the work of the Holy Spirit are 3 important emphases.
The specific circumstances of modern life & the complex problems they present for Christians may be difficult, but the distinctive doctrines of Romans have abiding value.
01) The righteousness of God, understood as God’s love in action setting things right, summons us as Christians to realise that God’s intention in declaring us righteous is that we become righteous.
02) The salvation that the power of God brought to the Romans is also operative in the world today.
03) The doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Romans summons us to a Christian life centred in a declaration of war on sin in our lives & an unending struggle to achieve righteousness in terms of doing what God wants done.
[Source: NIV Disciple’s Study Bible]
The book of Romans is the Apostle Paul’s masterpiece, a carefully constructed summary of Christian theology. Romans explains God’s plan of salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Divinely inspired, Paul passed on truths that are followed by believers to this day.
Themes in the Book of Romans:
Our natural inclination to sin separates us from God. We cannot make ourselves right or earn salvation on our own.
In his loving kindness, God provided a way to redeem us through his Son Jesus Christ, who paid our sin-debt through his sacrificial death.
By accepting Christ as Savior and believing in his atoning work, we are saved. Jesus’ righteousness is credited to us.
The Holy Spirit works in us to help us avoid sin and grow in holiness. God’s grace, not keeping the law, makes us acceptable.
God’s plan is just and fair. Both Jews and Gentiles are eligible to come to Christ and receive salvation.
Sincere service to Christ is an appropriate way to express our gratitude to God for his gift of salvation. When we work together with other members of the body of Christ, the church, we build each other up and give honor and glory to God.
Outline of the Book of Romans:
01) The gospel shows God’s righteousness – Romans 1:1-17.
02) God’s wrath against sin is just – Romans 1:18-3:20.
03) God has a plan of salvation – Romans 3:21-4:25.
04) Our faith brings hope – Romans 5:1-8:39.
05) God provides for Israel and the Gentiles – Romans 9:1-11:36.
06) Paul gives instructions for everyday living – Romans 12:1-15:13.
07) Paul tells his plan to spread the gospel – Romans 15:14-16:23.
08) The closing sums up the gospel – Romans 16:25-27.
Romans 3:22-24 (ANIV)
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 4:3 (ANIV)
What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Romans 5:1 (ANIV)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:38 (ANIV)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.