Written by: Kennedy, Tod M. Posted on: 05/06/2003
Category: Bible Studies
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 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.
God's Righteousness And Man's Unrighteousness
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-
Judging others is being self righteous
1. We are wrong to judge others because we all sin, and God is the only
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).
All people are sinful
1. The Jewish nation is special because God decided to work through them
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
God Gives His Righteousness Through Faith
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
3. Faith is believing what God has said; faith is not working in order to
earn something (4.17-25).
Justification gives many benefits
1. Because God has justified believers, believers now possess peace and
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).
The CWL (Christian Way Of Life) Is Possible
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
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
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
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).
God And Israel
God's promise and Israel
1. Paul is sorry that God's chosen nation, Israel, has rejected Christ (9.1-
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).
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).
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).
Day To Day CWL
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
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).
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).
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
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
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
SYSOP: Buggs Bugnon
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