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Written by: Kennedy, Tod M.    Posted on: 05/06/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

                  ROMANS OVERVIEW

              Introduction to Romans

Theme:  Romans presents God's truth in its three categories (laws of  establishment, gospel, and doctrine for growth). The core of this letter is the nature of God and the gospel that comes from God. This gospel is in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The gospel message is that God's  righteousness is offered to mankind based on the work of Christ on the  cross, and is received by faith in Christ. Romans demonstrates the effects of God's truth (in the three categories) upon mankind.

Author: Paul (Rom 1.1).

Date: Circa winter A.D. 56-57.

Paul  wrote from: Corinth,  on his third  missionary  trip ( Acts 20.1-16;  Rom 15.22-29;  16.1,23;  1 Cor  16.1-9; 2 Cor 8-9;).

Paul wrote to: Believers in Rome (Rom 1.7).

Political background: The first century church  was  under Roman rule. God used Roman rule to protect, to  consolidate, to extend, and to test His young  church. The city itself was prosperous and growing.  Working class, slaves, and aristocracy lived  in  Rome. Economic subsidies, wealth, poverty,  entertainment, government, public buildings, parks,  famous  people, military, and intrigue filled the  city. Nero was the emperor at this time. He ruled  from A.D. 54-68. He became the emperor at age 17 and  committed suicide at age 31. The first part of his  reign was adequate. The severe excesses for which he  is remembered did not come until later.

          A guide to the content of Romans

                  Section Titles   

Section 1: God's Righteousness And Man's  Unrighteousness, Romans 1-3.

Section 2: God Gives His Righteousness Through Faith, Romans 4-5.

Section 3: The CWL (Christian Way Of Life) Is Possible, Romans 6-8.

Section 4: God And Israel, Romans 9-11.

Section 5: Day To Day CWL, Romans 12-16.

                  Section 1.   God's Righteousness And Man's Unrighteousness

                    Chapter 1       Positive and negative volition at work

1.  The  apostle Paul works for God and God's gospel  (1.1-7).

2.  Paul  wants spiritual advancement for the  Roman  believers (1.8-17).

3.  Negative volition at God consciousness can bring terrible results (1.18- 32).

                    Chapter 2       Judging others is being self righteous

1.  We are wrong to judge others because we all sin, and God is the only judge (2.1-16).

2.  The self-righteous, arrogant, religious Jew is worse off than the Gentile that does not have God's law but follows the law's intention (2.17-29).

                    Chapter 3               All people are sinful

1.  The Jewish nation is special because God decided  to work through them (3.1-8).

2.  The Jews are not naturally better than Gentiles;  all people are sinful in comparison to God (3.9-20).

3. God gives His righteousness to unrighteous people  through faith in Jesus Christ (3.21-31).

                    Section 2.     God Gives His Righteousness Through Faith

                    Chapter 4         Righteousness is given through faith

1.  Abraham and David illustrate the truth that God gives His righteousness to people through faith and  not by works (4.1-9).

2.  Neither  ritual nor heritage will help mankind gain God's righteousness (4.10-16).

3.  Faith  is believing what God has said; faith is not working in order to earn something (4.17-25).

                    Chapter 5         Justification gives many benefits

1.  Because  God has justified believers, believers now possess peace and hope (5.1-5).

2.  God  did the most for mankind when Jesus Christ died for sin and He will certainly complete what he started out to do (5.6-11).

3.  The one sinful act of Adam caused all mankind to die and the one righteous act of Christ made it possible for God to give eternal life to anyone that believes (5.12-21).

                    Section 3.     The CWL (Christian Way Of Life) Is Possible

                    Chapter 6       Union with Christ makes the CWL possible

1.  The believer's union with Christ makes it possible and practical to live the CWL now (6.1-11).

2.  Believers should not allow sin to rule them because they are now alive with God and under grace  (6.12-14).

3.  Believers are slaves of God and this slavery should result in righteousness (6.15-23).

                    Chapter 7             The old sin nature inside

1. The believer's union with Christ broke any tie to law and at the same time brought every believer into  a new life with God (7.1-6).

2.  Paul's sin nature rebelled against the holy law and produced personal sins, and through this he learned what he was really like inside (7.7-20).

3. Two laws are at work inside the believer, the law of sin and the law of God (7.21-25).

                    Chapter 8               The Holy Spirit inside

1.  Union with Christ places believers under the law of the Holy Spirit in fact and in practice, not under the law of sin and death (8.1-4).

2.  Believers have the option of living through the Holy Spirit or through the sin nature (8.5-7).

3.  The Holy Spirit option is only true for those whom the Holy Spirit indwells (8.8-11).

4. It then follows that believers are to live day to day like heirs of God should live, by the Holy Spirit (8.12-17).

5.  Creation may suffer now, but the future inheritance is much  greater than any present suffering (8.18-25).

6.  God's plan guarantees that each believer is secure now in life and will be secure forever (8.26- 39).

                    Section 4.                   God And Israel

                    Chapter 9               God's promise and Israel

1. Paul is sorry that God's chosen nation, Israel, has rejected Christ (9.1- 5).

2. Now this Israel has descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and these three are related to God through promise (9.6-13).

3. God has the right to select Israel based on believed promise (9.14-23).

4. God will always have people that believe His promise (9.24-29).

5. People that believe God's promise are given God's righteousness (9.30-33).

                    Chapter 10           Israel needs faith righteousness

1.  Paul  wants Israel to believe in Christ so  that  the  nation  will be given God's  righteousness  and  then possess salvation (10.1-4).

2. Faith righteousness [God's righteousness given to  mankind  through  faith] is always superior  to  law  righteousness  [mankind's own righteousness that  is  based on keeping the law] (10.5-10).

3.  Faith righteousness is for anyone that wants it,  but  they  must first hear and believe God's  gospel  (10.11-15).

4.  However,  Israel  illustrates  for us  that  not  everyone  who  hears God's gospel  will  believe  it  (10.16-21).

                    Chapter 11           There is always a grace remnant

1. God always has a grace remnant [a small number of  people  who  understand grace and  accept  salvation  through faith] among Israel (11.1-10).

2.  Israel  was temporarily set aside because of her  unbelief  and during this time Gentiles were  joined  to God's kingdom through faith (11.11-24).

3.  God  will restore Israel to prominence after  He  completes His plan with the Gentiles (11.25-32).

4. God and His works are infinite (11.33-36).

                    Section 5.                   Day To Day CWL

                    Chapter 12               A new kind of priesthood

1.  God's  plan makes all believers into priests and  as  priests they no longer  sacrifice  animals,  but instead  give  themselves to God while at  the  same  time  they  are progressively being  changed  inside  (12.1-2).

2.  Believer-priests  are individual members of  the  body  of  Christ and should serve God  in  the  body  according to their spiritual gifts (12.3-8).

3.  Believer-priests  should live within the  mental  attitude and power of love (12.9-21).

                    Chapter 13         Authority orientation and the CWL

1.  God  delegates authority to certain people  and  this authority gives freedom,  order, and protection  (13.1-7).

2.  Believers  only owe love to others and those who  love correctly are oriented to authority (13.8-10).

3.  Time  is passing so get on with daily  spiritual  growth which makes you the kind of person that Jesus  Christ is (13.11-14).

                    Chapter 14   Give freedom instead of judgments and obstacles

1.  Believers  are supposed to allow each other (and  especially  the weak believer) to live his own  life  for  the  Lord  instead of judging  each  other  and  showing contempt for each other (14.1-12).

2.  Believers have freedom to live life,  but should  use this freedom for building people up and not  for  tearing them down (14.13-23).

                    Chapter 15                 Onward and upward

1. The strong believer should help the weak believer  so that the weaker and stronger may grow and glorify  God (15.1-6).

2.  Jewish  and Gentile believers are to accept each  other (15.7-13).

3.  Paul's  ministry does not reflect what Paul  has  done,  but what Christ has accomplished through Paul  (15.14-21).

4.  Paul plans on visiting the Romans on his way  to  Spain,  but  he  must first take a  contribution  to  Jerusalem (15.22-29).

5.  Paul  asks the Romans to pray for his  Jerusalem  trip and for his trip to Rome (15.30-33).

                    Chapter 16             Personal notes and greetings

1.  Paul recommends Phoebe, a serving lady, and asks  that  the  Romans help her in whatever and  whenever  she needs help (16.1-2).

2.  Paul  sends personal notes to many of the  Roman  believers (16.3-16).

3.  Paul  warns them to beware of the troublemakers,  specifically  those that live by their emotions  and  smooth  talk  people and work against  the  doctrine  that has been taught (16.17-21).

4.  Some  of  the men with Paul also  send  personal  greetings to the Romans (16.21-24).

5.  God,  who  stabilizes believers,  has all  glory  (16.25-27).

Copyright 1984 by Tod M. Kennedy

For More Information: Southern Maryland Christian Information Service BBS (SMCIS) P. O. Box 463 California, MD 20619 DATA: 301/862-3160 SYSOP: Buggs Bugnon

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