The book of Romans is a theologically rich letter written by the apostle Paul. This powerful book contains in an unparalleled style the most comprehensive and profound explanation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in all of the New Testament. Throughout Church history the book of Romans has had a remarkable influence on individuals and churches. It was by reading this book that both Augustine and Luther were converted, and it is by means of this book that many more have come to know the gospel of Christ.
The theme of the books of Romans is the righteousness of God (1:16-17). Paul looks at how the righteousness of God exposes mankind’s (both Jew and Gentile) sinfulness and their need for righteousness (1:18-3:20). He then writes about how guilty sinners can receive the righteousness of God (3:21-5:21) and how this righteousness leads to a transformed life (6:1-8:39). The theme of God’s sovereignty in relation to righteousness and Israel is also discussed (9:1-11:36). Paul concludes with a section that considers what the righteousness of God looks like in Christian service (12:1-16:27).
Paul’s letter to the Romans provides every believer with a firm foundation in the doctrine of salvation. This foundation is essential if we are going to have peace with God (Rom. 5:1) and live a transformed life that God approves (Rom. 12:1).
There are a number of ways this letter can be outlined. A simple outline of the book could be as follows:
I. Righteousness and Sin (1:1-3:20)
II. Righteousness and Salvation (3:21-8:39)
III. Righteousness and Sovereignty (9:1-11:36)
IV. Righteousness and Service (12:1-16:27)
There is something very exciting when we hear people say “I have good news!” However, as exciting as the “good news” may be, no news begins to compare with the good news found in Romans
Paul introduced his letter by announcing the good news of the gospel (1:1-17), but now he begins the first major section of his letter (1:18-3:20).
After reading the previous passage (Rom. 1:18-32), it would be very easy for a moralistic individual to agree that such people are under God’s judgment.
Paul continues to show how the wrath of God is revealed against the Jewish people. Though they were outwardly righteous, Paul confronts the Jews’ sinful state by unmasking three actions that characterised them and in turn blinded them.
Paul has made a clear and convincing case for the sinfulness of the Gentile (1:18-32) and the Jew (2:1-3:8). He now brings this first major section of his letter dealing with righteousness and sin (1:1-3:20) to a conclusion.
The word justification is an important term in the Christian’s vocabulary. To be justified refers to the legal act in which God declares a guilty sinner just.
In this section Paul is providing evidence from the Old Testament as to why justification comes by faith and not works. Abraham is used as the primary example because he was the father of the Jewish people and was held in high esteem by them.
In Romans 5 Paul provides the reader with both the blessings of justification (5:1-11) and the basis of justification (5:12-21). The blessings that flow out of being justified cause Paul to rejoice on three occasions (5:2, 3, 11).
In the previous chapter Paul said, “sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). How does this account for the struggle every believer has with sin?
After dealing with the believer’s struggle with sin in the previous chapter, Paul now moves on to provide instruction concerning the believer’s freedom.
Romans 5:1-8:39 is a section in Paul’s letter to the Romans that deals with practical outcomes of the doctrine of justification.
Suffering can unsettle and upset the believer. After raising the issue of the reality of suffering, Paul concludes his argument in 8:28-30.
Paul begins this final section by asking, “What then shall we say to these things?” (8:31a). The reference to “these things” primarily refers to the truths outlined in 8:28-30 concerning God’s purpose and plan to bring His people to glory.
In Romans 9-11 the focus is on Israel and the sovereignty of God. Though from one perspective these chapters may appear out of place, the fact is, they are of great importance.
Paul begins with a passionate and heartfelt statement, “Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (10:1). This is a theme spread through this section (9:1; 10:1 and 11:1).
This chapter brings the section on the sovereignty of God and righteousness (9-11) to an end. Israel’s present rejection has opened a door to a large number of Gentiles coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
After laying a strong foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the first 11 chapters, Paul transitions into the last section of this book (12-16) which focuses on the believer’s responsibilities in light of those chapters.
Romans 13 provides practical commands concerning the believer’s responsibility to the governing authorities (13:1-7), to the Law of God (13:8-10), and in light of the Second Coming of Christ (13:11-14).
There are many differences in the life of the church – differences that range from personality to preferences. It is the responsibility of God’s people to mutually accept one another.
Today there are many components and methods used today in Christian ministry. Many of these are designed to appeal to the desires of people.