The Book of Romans

Paul was on his third missionary journey and heading back to Jerusalem late in AD 57 or early 58. He had not yet visited the Christians in Rome, but he was aware of the church and their needs. The church was comprised of Christian Jews and Gentiles. One of the main purposes of the letter was to address tensions between these two groups. He began by presenting a beautiful and solid explanation of the Gospel of salvation for Jews and Gentiles (chapters 1-4). He then explains how we live by faith in the Spirit, no longer dominated by sin (chapters 5-7). In chapters 9-11 he addresses the mystery of God's plan of salvation for Israel (Jews) and for the nations (Gentiles). In chapters 12-15 he focuses on our Christian daily life. Finally he speaks about his future mission plans which included a visit to Rome and going on to Spain to proclaim the Gospel. 

Simple Outline

1. The Gospel 1.1-1.17

2. God’s Wrath Against Unrighteousness (1.18-3.20)

3. God’s Saving Righteousness in Jesus (3.21-4.25)

4. The Triumph Of God’s Righteousness Over Sin (5.1-8.39)

5. God’s Righteousness for Israel and the Nations (9.1-11.36)

6. Righteousness in Daily Life (12.1-15.13)

7. The Mission Of God’s Righteousness (15.14-16.23)

8. Summary of the Gospel Of Righteousness (16.25-27)

Chapter 01 - Just Live By Faith
Paul emphasizes the gospel of Christ, the prophets, the Son of God, incarnate, and resurrected in the salutation. He desired to come to Rome to preach the Gospel. He gives the theme: The Just (Righteous) Live by Faith (1.16-18). Paul begins the first main point of the Wrath of God on Unrighteousness. 

Chapter 02 - All Are Judged
No one has an excuse. If we judge others, we condemn ourselves. We should repent. Those who do good will have eternal life. Those who are self-seeking will have tribulation. The law is written on all hearts. Jews who boast in the law are just as guilty as Gentiles because they do not keep the law. A true Jew is one inwardly who has the circumcision of the heart in the Spirit.  

Chapter 03
In faithfulness God entrusted His oracles to the Jews. But the unbelief of some does not make God unfaithful or unrighteous. Nor can anyone say, “What’s the use, shouldn’t we just sin if we can’t be righteous on our own?” Paul lays out the Old Testament passages that show all have sinned, and they cannot justify themselves by their own efforts. At 3.21 Paul begins the next section - Righteousness Through Faith in Jesus - which runs to 4.25. We have redemption from sin and propitiation from God’s wrath through the blood of Jesus. No one can boast because all (circumcised and uncircumcised) are justified by faith.

3. God’s Saving Righteousness in Jesus (3.21-4.25)

Chapter 04
Abraham was justified by faith before he was circumcised. David also affirmed forgiveness apart from works. Circumcision was a seal of Abraham’s faith. Abraham is the father of those who walk in the footsteps of faith as he did before his circumcision. 

4. The Triumph Of Righteousness Over Sin 5.1-8.39

Chapter 05 - Being justified, we have peace with God and we rejoice in sufferings because they produce virtues. Jesus died for us when we were still sinners. Sin and death came through Adam. Justification came through Jesus. Sin reigns in death. Grace reigns in righteousness to eternal life.

Chapter 06 - In repentance and faith (Baptism) we died to sin were raised to new life. We are alive to God in Christ. We should not willingly continue in sin as a slave. Sin has no dominion over us. The wages of sin is death. The free gift of God is eternal life.

Chapter 07 The Wretched Man
The Law is holy, but sin uses the law to kill us. We are sold under sin. We sin even though we will not to sin. There is a war between the mind and the sin in our members. Jesus delivers us from this war.

Chapter 08 - The Spiritual Life
There is no condemnation to those in Christ. Jesus condemned sin in the flesh by coming in the flesh. The Spirit dwells in us and overcomes the sinful flesh. The creation will be delivered from its bondage. The Spirit intercedes for us. All things work together for good to them that love God. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. 

5. God’s Righteousness for Israel and the Nations (9.1-11.36)

Chapter 09 - Israel 
Paul had great sorrow for Israelites who did not believe because they were such an important part of God’s plan of salvation. God is still faithful because not all who are blood descendants of Abraham of the people of Israel. Only the children of promise who seek righteousness by faith are the true children of Israel.  God chose His own way of salvation to save both Israel and the Gentiles. 

Chapter 10 - Believing or Rejecting the Gospel
The Jews had zeal for God, but they tried to establish their own righteousness. Faith in Christ (either looking forward to Christ or backward) saves. Some of Israel rejected the Gospel.

Chapter 11 - All Israel (Believing Israel and Believing Gentiles) Will Be Saved
God has not cast away His people; there is a remnant of Israel who believe by grace. Israel's eyes were darkened. Their falling made it possible for the Gentiles to be included. Yet their acceptance is the goal. Gentiles, like a wild olive, were grafted to the cultivated tree. Therefore the Gentiles should not boast. Gentiles need to continue in God’s goodness or be cut off as well. If Israel does not continue in unbelief, they will be grafted in again. The blindness of Israel is a mystery until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in.  

6. Righteousness in Daily Life (12.1-15.13)

Chapter 12 - The Life Transformed by Faith
Not conformed to the world, be transformed in mind to prove the will of God. Do not think too highly of yourselves, we each have a measure of faith and spiritual gifts. Love without hypocrisy. Abhor evil. Cling to good.  Live in brotherly love. Be diligent. Pray. Show hospitality. Do not repay evil. Overcome evil with good. 

Chapter 13
Governments are established by God, therefore Christians must respect them and submit to them unless they try to make us sin (“We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5.29). Christians are obligated by God to love their neighbor.  (This is the highest social contract that supersedes all government laws.) Armed with light, Christians don’t stumble about like those in the darkness. We can control the flesh.

Chapter 14
Don’t judge another servant of God as they each try to follow God and not the flesh. We may try to do this by what we eat or by the day on which we worship. Yet these outward things cannot be considered more important than the righteousness, peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. Faith is most important. What does not come from faith is sin. 

Chapter 15
We should not please ourselves but please others by bearing with their weaknesses to build them up. Jesus didn’t please Himself. Be comforted by Scripture. Glorify God together - Jews and Gentiles. Be filled with peace and joy in believing. Paul has been a minister to the Gentiles to bring them to obedience by the Gospel. He preached to those who had not heard from Jerusalem to Illyricum. He needed to bring the gift of the Gentiles to Jerusalem. Then he planned to stop at Rome on his way to Spain.

8. Summary of the Gospel Of Righteousness (16.25-27)

Chapter 16
Paul commends to them good church workers named Phoebe, Priscilla, Aquila and others. He encourages the greeting of the holy kiss. He urges them to avoid people who teach falsely. Be wise in what is good and simple in what is evil. Tertius wrote the letter for Paul. He gives glory to God who establishes believers in Jesus through the Scriptures.






Roman Mosaic



Roman Street