New Testament Survey; The Book Of Romans
The Book Of Romans
- Paul (Rom 1:1)
- The vocabulary, style, and content of Romans is just like Paul’s other Epistles.
- The early church fathers (Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Eusebius) universally agreed, and even heretics of that time admitted, that Paul was the author of this book.
- It should be noted, however, that a man named Tertius actually wrote the words for Paul as he dictated them (Rom 16:22)
- Romans was the 6th of 13 Epistles that Paul wrote. It was likely placed 1st in order though because of its importance, and possibly because the previous book of Acts ended with Paul in Rome.
- Chapters: 16
- Verses: 433 (The longest Epistle Paul wrote.)
- 56-58 A.D.
- We know from (Acts 20:3)(Acts 24:17) that Paul was in Corinth, the largest city in Achaia (Greece), for 3 months when he wrote this. (See: Place Written below)
- It was written during Paul’s 3rd missionary trip (See: 2 Cor 12:14, 2 Cor 13:1), and final visit to that city. The date of this visit falls somewhere in near the middle of his 3rd trip.
- At the time of the writing, Paul was about to proceed to Jerusalem with offerings “for the poor saints at Jerusalem” which were made by the churches of Macedonia and Achaia (Rom 15:25-26).
- Paul was staying at the house of Gaius (Rom 16:23). Gaius was from Corinth and someone who Paul likely led to the Lord earlier (1 Cor 1:14).
- (Rom 16:23) also says that Erastus was “the chamberlain (treasurer) of the city” where Paul was staying. Erastus was the treasurer of Corinth (2 Tim 4:20).
(There is still visible to this day an inscription from that time which says, “Erastus, the commissioner of public works, laid this pavement at his own expense.”)
- Phoebe, who likely transported Paul’s letter to Rome, was “a servant” (deaconess) of the church at Cenchrea (Rom 16:1-2). Cenchrea was located in the eastern part of Corinth.
- Two of the men who were with Paul when he wrote this letter at Corinth, Timotheus and Sosipater (Rom 16:21), also accompanied Paul when he left for Jerusalem (Acts 20:4).
*** The Gaius of Derbe from (Acts 20:4) is not the same as the Gaius of Corinth.
- Christians at the “church” in Rome.
- The righteousness of God (Rom 1:17)(Rom 3:5,21,22)(Rom 10:3)
(Rom 1:16-17)(Rom 5:1)(Rom 6:15-18)(Rom 7:14-25)(Rom 8:9)(Rom 8:37-39)(Rom 12:1-2,19)
- The Roman Road: The Roman Road is a term used for a group of verses found in Romans that are foundational to leading an unsaved person to saving faith in Christ. They can be shared in the order they are given (along with a few verses in Acts on repentance: Acts 3:19, Acts 11:18, Acts 17:30), and then generally if a person accepts what the verses say, you can pray with the person to surrender their life to Christ. These verses are: (Rom 3:10)(Rom 3:23)(Rom 5:8)(Rom 6:23)(Rom 10:9-10)(Rom 10:13)
- There are a number of purposes. Five are listed below:
1. To introduce himself to the church in Rome and let them know that he planned to visit them soon (Rom 1:8-13).
2. To give them personal teaching about salvation by grace alone, justification by faith, and the imputed righteousness of Christ.
3. To get their assistance in his journey to Spain, which he was going to after passing through Rome (Rom 15:24,28).
4. To “strive” with Paul in their prayers so that “I (Paul) may be delivered from that which do not believe in Judea; and that my service (likely distribution of the money he collected) which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints” (Rom 15:30-31).
5. To stress the importance of unity between the Gentiles and Jews which made up the “church” at Rome. (Rom 3:9,22,29-30)(Rom 2:9-11)(Rom 4:9-12)(Rom 15:5-13)
(The “church” was mainly “house churches” [See: Rom 16:4-5, 14-15])
(Paul wrote to both the Gentile believers (Rom 1:5-6,13)(Rom 11:13,28-31)(Rom 15:15-16) and the Jewish believers (Rom 2:17-3:8)(Rom 3:21-4:1)(Rom 7:1-14), but most agree that the majority of the church was probably Gentiles.
How did the “church” at Rome get started?
- The church at Rome was likely started by the “strangers of Rome” who heard Peter and were converted on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10)(app. 30 A.D.). They then carried the new doctrine back to Rome and started the churches. They had been building the churches for approximately 26-28 years when Paul wrote his letter to them.
- Some believe they may have been started by missionaries who traveled there from more established churches and did a “church plant.”
- Others believe that they may have been started by those who were scattered abroad to escape the persecution which followed the death of Stephen (Acts 8:4)(Acts 11:19).
- At least six key words are found more in Romans that any other book in the New Testament:
Grace: 22 times | Justified: 10 times | Righteousness: 39 times | Faith: 38 times | Law: 76 times | Sin: 43 times
- Numerous people from the Old Testament are referred to by name in Romans:
David: (Rom 1:3)(Rom 4:6)(Rom 11:9)
Abraham: (Rom 4:9,13,16)(Rom 9:7)(Rom 11:1)
Sarah: (Rom 4:19)(Rom 9:9)
Adam: (Rom 5:14)
Moses: (Rom 5:14)(Rom 9:15)(Rom 10:5)
Isaac: (Rom 9:7,10)
Rebecca: (Rom 9:10)
Jacob: (Rom 9:13)(Rom 11:26)
Esau: (Rom 9:13)
Pharaoh: (Rom 9:17) Isaiah: (Rom 9:27,29)(Rom 10:16,20)(Rom 15:12)
Elijah: (Rom 11:2)
- As we spoke of earlier in the Survey of Mark, because “power” was important to the Romans, Mark placed an emphasis on that in his Gospel. Paul also places emphasis on “power,” using it three times alone in the first chapter (Rom 1:4,16,20), and also in a number of other verses: (Rom 9:17,21,22)(Rom 13:1,2,3)(Rom 15:13,19)(Rom 16:25).
- While reading the 1st chapter of Romans, Martin Luther came across verse (1:17) which says “the just shall live by faith,” and this was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation which happened in 1517.
- John Wesley (1738)(an early Methodist leader) came to faith in Christ on Wednesday, May 24, 1738 on Aldersgate St. in London after hearing someone “reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle of Romans.”
- Augustine (in app. 386 A.D.) apparently was converted while reading (Rom 13:13-14).
- When Paul wrote his letter to Rome, there was anywhere from 800,000 to 1 million people living there.
- Some of the names found in (Rom 16) (i.e. Amplias, Urban, and Tryphena) are found inscribed in cemeteries in Rome (still seen today) where members of the widely scattered “household of Caesar” were buried.
- Romans can loosely be broken down into 4 main sections.
1. The Introduction: Chapter 1:1-17
2. Doctrinal Issues: Chapter 1:18 through 11
3. Practical Issues: Chapter 12 through 15:12 How Christians should conduct their lives and behave.
4. The Conclusion:
Chapter 15:13-33 Some of the reasons for his writing
Chapter 16:1-23 Personal commendations and greetings from Paul and his friends.
Chapter 16:25-27 (Verse 24 left out of many modern translations) A doxology to God.