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Getting to Know the Bible: Romans Overview

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on Romans. But before we get to Romans 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Romans. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.

And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Romans, as we prepare to behold and discern Romans, beginning with Romans 1 in our next installment of this series.

Book Type: The first Pauline Epistle; the sixth book of the New Testament; the forty-fifth book of the Bible.

Authors: Paul

Date of Writing: Approximately AD 56—58

Audience: Christians living in Rome who were primarily Gentiles

Theme: God's plan of salvation; justification, sanctification, redemption, resurrection and glorification

Original Language: Greek


Purpose of Writing: As with all Paul’s epistles to the churches, his purpose in writing was to proclaim the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ by teaching doctrine and edify and encourage the believers who would receive his letter. Of particular concern to Paul were those to whom this letter was written—those in Rome who were “loved by God and called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). Because he himself was a Roman citizen, he had a unique passion for those in the assembly of believers in Rome. Since he had not, to this point, visited the church in Rome, this letter also served as his introduction to them.

Summary: The Book of Romans is primarily a work of doctrine and can be divided into four sections: righteousness needed, 1:18–3:20; righteousness provided, 3:21–8:39; righteousness vindicated, 9:1–11:36; righteousness practiced, 12:1–15:13. The main theme of this letter is obvious of course—righteousness. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Paul first condemns all men of their sinfulness. He expresses his desire to preach the truth of God’s Word to those in Rome. It was his hope to have assurance they were staying on the right path. He strongly points out that he is not ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16), because it is the power by which everyone is saved.

The Book of Romans tells us about God, who He is and what He has done. It tells us of Jesus Christ, what His death accomplished. It tells us about ourselves, what we were like without Christ and who we are after trusting in Christ. Paul points out that God did not demand men have their lives straightened out before coming to Christ. While we were still sinners Christ died on a cross for our sins.

Overview: Romans provides the Bible its first book of systematic theology, offering explanations of many aspects of the faith. These sixteen chapters can be divided into seven major sections. The first section includes Paul's introduction, and a statement of the book's theme. Paul's goal is to present salvation to Jews and Gentiles (Romans 1:16–17).

The second section addresses the unrighteousness of all people (Romans 1:18—3:20). This includes his Roman Gentile readers (Romans 1:18–32), Jews (Romans 2:1—3:8), and all people on the face of the earth (Romans 3:9—20).

The third section emphasizes God's provision of salvation through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21—5:21). Jesus is the source of all righteousness (3:21–31), making faith, as characterized by Abraham, our means of realizing this provision (Romans 4). Christ blesses people with sharing His righteousness (Romans 5).

The fourth section emphasizes sanctification, or holy living, which comes through Christ (Romans 6:1—8:39). There is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). Paul concludes the section with the teaching that nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37–39).

The fifth section deals with Israel (Romans 9:1—11:36). Paul desires the salvation of his own people, yet most were hardened at that time.

The sixth section focuses on the application of Christian living (Romans 12:1—15:13). Believers are called to be different and live differently, in personal life (Romans 12), in relation to government (Romans 13), and in debatable matters (Romans 14:1—15:13).

The seventh, final section provides a conclusion regarding his teaching, Paul's future plans to visit Rome, a closing blessing from Paul and those with him to the many believers he already knew by name in the city, and a doxology (Romans 15:14—16:27).

Application: When we turn our lives over to Christ, we are no longer controlled by our sin nature, but we are controlled by the Spirit. If we make confession that Jesus is Lord, and believe that He is raised from the dead, we are saved, born again.

Key Verses (ESV):

Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

"Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

"Romans 5:8: "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

"Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

"Romans 8:28: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

"Romans 8:37–39: "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

"Romans 10:9–10: "Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

"Romans 12:1: "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

"Romans 12:19: "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"

*Note: Paul announces its theme in 1:16-17: the gospel is God's power for salvation, because it shows us that the righteousness of God is through faith for all who believe. Paul explains the need for justification through faith because of sin (1:16-4:25). He then spells out the results of justification by faith in terms of both present experience and future hope (5:1-8:39). In the next three chapters, he expresses his sorrow that many of his fellow Israelites have not embraced the gospel, and he wrestles with the theological implications of this (chs. 9-11). He concludes by describing how the gospel should affect one's everyday life (chapters 12-16).

I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.

Love you much.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!

-Humble Servant

P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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