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Romans - WEB

Rom, Ro, Rm

The Book of Romans - WEB

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Below you will also find the summary of this book.

The Book of Romans WEB summary

Purpose of The Book of Romans:
To declare power of the Gospel and the life that results.

Summary of The Book of Romans:
The Book of Romans is a very theologically sophisticated letter that was written to a church formed by dispersed Jews converted to the faith at Pentecost. Paul discussed at length and in great detail God's view of both gentiles and Jews, suggesting that this Jewish-Christian church in the very heart of pagan culture and the entire Gentile world had stirred up much confusion and argument as to whom exactly God had called to be his people. Paul argues that both Jews and Gentiles alike are sinners, deserving of God's wrath, but receiving instead his undeserved mercy and grace, and should therefore live together in humility, service, and selflessness.

Author and Dates of The Book of Romans:
Although a precise date cannot be placed on this letter with any certainty, Paul definitely penned it at the end of his third missionary journey, somewhere around 57 AD. Eight years before, Claudius had expelled Jews from Rome because of their fierce debates over a man named "Chrestus," which relegated the Jewish Christians which started this church into an inferior social position. In light of these circumstances, it is no wonder why Paul felt the need to explain the role of both gentiles and Jews in God's family.

Because of the lengthy and detailed personal information at the end of this letter, it is plain that Paul was writing from the city of Corinth, about to leave for Jerusalem (15:22-33). He is writing to the church in Rome, as not only the title but also his remarks in 1:7,15 and 15:24,28 suggest. We know of no apostles who planted the church in Rome. It seems that a large dispersion of Jews converted at Pentecost settled in Rome and began an evangelistic church there tht saw many Roman converts. This would explain much of the confusion which the young church suffered trying to define what specific beliefs, rituals, and behaviors marked the true people of God.

Outline of The Book of Romans:

  1. Righteousness of God and Unrighteousness of Humanity (Romans 1 - 4).
  2. The Salvation of God (Romans 5 - 8).
  3. The People of God (Romans 9 - 11).
  4. The Result of Grace (Romans 12 – 15).

Themes of The Book of Romans:
Sin: A full 75% of Paul's uses of the word "sin" occur in this one letter. Paul stresses the fact that, even though the Gentiles were not given the Law of God, they were nevertheless guilty of breaking it because it was evident in the world around them and in themselves. Moreover, the Jews were not exempt from God's judgment because they were blessed with the Law; on the contrary, the Law was given to them to give them a more acute sense of their own sinfulness (Rom. 1-2). Not only did Paul assert that both Jew and Gentile alike were lawbreakers, but that they were alike under the curse of their common ancestor Adam. As our representative before God, Adam chose for his entire race a life of independence from and rebellion against God and His Will, and all humankind live with the consequences of that decision (Romans 5).
Faith in Christ: Paul stresses time and time again that righteousness is not achieved through human effort, but through faith in Christ. Only because of His righteousness, and His willingness to include us under His umbrella of righteousness, we are acceptable before God (Romans 4, 10, 1:17).
The Flesh and the Spirit: Paul recognized that the Holy Spirit which Christ had sent to empower His disciples caused a miraculous and fundamental change in those people whom God had chosen to further his gospel. Even so, there remained a vestige of the old, evil, rebellious nature that was in constant conflict with the Spirit (Romans 7).
Grace: Paul asserts that we are saved not on the basis of our own merits, nor on any other basis but His own good pleasure. It is because He, in his mysterious wisdom, chose to die for his enemies, and bless those who cursed him, that we are saved. Thus there is no room for pride or boasting in our salvation, since we contributed nothing to it. Moreover, we need not suffer the insecurities of thinking that the gift must be earned or repaid, since God freely gave it to us out of the overflow of His love, unconditionally (Romans 9).
Israel: One of the complaints Paul seems to be addressing in this letter is, "Why did God abandon the Jews?" He counters that God has not at all gone back on His promises, but that all His promises were pointing to this very day when those who were Jewish by blood but not by faith were cut off from the people of God, and those who were children of God by faith, but not by bloodline, were grafted in. The promises of God directed toward the people of God always referred to those who were faithful to Him, and not to a particular nationality or ethnicity.

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