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Brief Introduction of the Book of Romans
This letter was written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Rome about A.D. 57. The theme of the letter is righteousness. Despite man’s sin, Paul showed that God declares those who believe in Jesus both innocent and right with Him. Even more, through the Holy Spirit that Christ gives, God works within to enable believers to actually live righteous lives, individually and as a redeemed community.
Romans is perhaps the most powerful Christian document ever written. Towering figures like Luther and Wesley trace their conversions to this book. Any Christian can deepen his appreciation of all God has given us in Christ by a careful study of Romans. And every Christian can discover here the source of that spiritual power man needs to live a life that glorifies the Saviour.
Outline of Contents
- Introduction (Rom 1:1-17)
- Righteousness: Man’s Great Need (Rom 1:18-3:20)
- Righteousness as God’s Gift (Rom 3:21-5:21)
- Righteous Living Today (Rom 6 – 8)
- Righteousness in History (Rom 9 – 11)
- Righteousness in Community (Rom 12-16)
Romans 1 English Standard Version (ESV)
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Longing to Go to Rome
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
The Righteous Shall Live by Faith
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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
- Read this passage a couple of times slowly. Imagine you were Paul writing this letter. What was Paul’s feeling toward the believers in Rome? And his attitude about spreading the gospel?
- Pause and reflect. How did the Holy Spirit touch you through this passage?
- Do you share Paul’s excitement and passion about the gospel? Whom among your friends do you have the greatest opportunity of reaching with the gospel? What steps can you take to reach them?