A Study of
The Book of Romans
Table of Contents
The State of Israel
Instructions on Christian Conduct
Intro to Romans
One can almost imagine Paul praying on the rooftop of Gaius house in Corinth, Greece. He looked to the east toward his Jewish people and hurt because of their rejection of the Gospel, and turned west toward un-evangelized Spain as his new expedition. It was around 57 AD and Paul had traveled from Jerusalem north to Damascus then around the Mediterranean Sea evangelizing and organizing churches for the last ten years. When he had evangelized and established churches in most of modern Turkey he set out on his second missionary journey moving further west into Greece. Beginning in the north He evangelized and organized churches there as well. Corinth was one of these churches. His third missionary journey he set out again for Greece. There he stayed in Corinth with his friend Gaius.
Paul had a philosophy that lead him to “…preach the Good News where the name of Christ [had] never been heard…” (Romans 15:20 NTL). Now that he had reached the majority of Turkey and Greece, he wanted to move west to new territory. West of Greece was, Italy. Italy however, had already received the Gospel. The fact that “all roads lead to Rome” meant that Rome heard the gospel before Paul could get there. Further west yet, was Spain. Now Spain had not been evangelized. It was new ground, and Paul was ready to go, but if Paul was going to go to Spain he would need the help of the closes church; Rome.
Paul had wanted to visit Rome for a long time and preach the gospel there, but had been prevented thus far (Romans 1:13). So then, now that he was planning an expedition to Spain, Rome was probably on the way. This was good, because he would probably need help from the Christians in Rome. As Paul planed his next trip to Spain and looked to Rome for support he new he had questions to answer.
Paul had many enemies. Some people saw his message of salvation as a license to live immoral lives. Paul admits in Romans 3:8 that some slander Paul accusing him of saying “the more we sin the better it is” (NLT). Paul knew that these accusations needed to be addressed, especially to Rome since they heard everything.
Paul also knew there were other issues. There were questions about whether or not the faithlessness of the Jewish people was a sign that God was casting them away. Another major issue was the fact that the incredible numbers of Gentiles being saved were not assimilating into the Jewish Christian Church. The ethnic and cultural divisions were very serious and unity was becoming extremely difficult. Paul was to write a letter to Rome that would address all of these issues.
Paul evangelized all the north and west Mediterranean.
Paul begins his letter to the Romans the same way any one today would begin any letter, by identifying himself. Paul identifies himself as “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,” Before he identifies his readers Paul takes verses 2-6 to describe in further detail that Gospel to which he has been “set apart for”. This topic [the gospel] will be the centre theme of this epistle. After introducing himself Paul describes the intended recipients as those who have obeyed faith (1:6) and in verse seven the addressed are more specifically identified as “all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
As noted above, Paul takes 4 verses to clarify what he means by the Gospel when he describes himself as “set apart for the Gospel of God”. Paul makes the following points in verses 2-6 regarding the Gospel referenced in verse one.
· He promised the gospel before hand through His prophets in the scriptures
· Concerning his son, a descendent of David in the physical sense
· Declared the son of God by the resurrection
· The same Jesus that through whom “we” received grace and apostleship to bring the gentiles to obedience to faith
Having[DL2] introduced himself and addressed his readers, Paul takes seven verses to greet the Roman believers by addressing his pride for them and his attempts and desires to visit them.
1. 1:8 Paul is thankful for the Romans because their faith is known throughout the world
2. 1:9-13 - Paul’s visit to Rome
i 1:10 - Paul’s Prayer: to finally visit Rome
ii 1:11-12 – Paul’s Purpose: to impart a gift
iii 1:13 – Paul’s Plan: Paul has been prevented from visiting. His desire is to visit Rome and preach the Gospel there.
iv 1:14-15: Paul’s Obligation: To preach the Gospel to all people.
Romans 1:16-17 seem to operate much like a thesis statement, summarizing the main purpose of this epistle.
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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17 NASB95)
Paul begins his treatise on the Gospel by first describing the need for salvation. In 1:18-32 Paul has the easy task of showing that the gentile pagan does not have any excuse for his sin and is guilty before God. Paul’s Jewish readers readily agreed with him on this point. In Chapter 2 however, Paul turns on the self-righteous Jew | 3:1-20 All Are under Sin1. Entrusted with the oracles (Giving much responsibility and worsesning plight if unfaithful)2. Through the law comes knowledge ofsin (realization for the need fojustification (“( |
and proves that the man who judges the gentile is just as guilty. Paul concludes in 3:1-20, that all men regardless of their position with the law are all guilty before God… “none are righteous, no not one”.
Paul first demonstrates that the gentile or lawless sinner can not use ignorance as an excuse. He has his conciseness telling him exactly what God’s will is. He then shows that pagans disregarded God and as a result God gave them over to their own lust and eventually depraved mind.
i 1:18 – God’s anger against all wickedness is revealed
ii 1:19 - God has made Himself evident to all
iii 1:20 - His divinity and power are displayed in nature
i Although they knew God they did not honor or give Him thanks
ii Instead they became futile in their speculations and their foolish heart was darkened. Thinking they were becoming smarter they became fools and began to worship images of men and beasts.
i So God allowed them to follow the lusts of their hearts
ii So that their bodies would be dishonored among them
iii They worship creation rather than man
iv That’s why God gave them over to “degrading passions”
v 1:26-27 – People turned to Homosexuality
vi 1:28 - And since they did not think it proper to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thoughts
i 1:29-31 – they are filled with all unrighteousness
ii 1:32 - And even though they know that those who do these things deserve death, not only do they continue to do these things, they encourage others to do them.
In Chapter one Paul wrote that everyone knows that evil men deserve punishment. The reader found himself agreeing with Paul on the guilt of the wicked sinners. In Chapter two Paul will now turn on the reader arguing that the self-righteous man (or the man who thinks he successfully obeys the Mosaic Law) is just as guilty before God.
Now that Paul and the reader have agreed that the evil person is truly worthy of punishment, Paul can show the reader that he too is just as deserving of that same punishment. If the reader agreed with Paul that the person without the law has no excuse because they have their conscience telling them that what they are doing is wrong, how less room does the man who has the law have to make excuses for sinning? He is in fact in a worse situation.
1. 2:1 - The self righteous man is just as guilty as the sinner, since he does the very things he condemns other for doing[DLL3] .
2. 2:2 – It is obvious that the sinner deserves punishment
3. 2:3 – Consider this; if a person judges men who do wrong, but does wrong himself, doesn’t he deserve that same judgment?
4. 2:4 – The self-righteous man is taking God’s patience for granted, ignoring the fact that His love and kindness is intended to bring men to repentance [not to pride and arrogance].
Paul has informed the self-righteous person that he is in fact in a worse situation, and now Paul will inform that man that he will indeed be judged. In this section Paul wants to assure the self-righteous man that each individual will be judged regardless of whether he “sins under the law, or without it”. Paul argues that being a Jew will not exempt the self-righteous man from judgment. Furthermore, Jesus will be a thorough judge, judging the inner secrets of man, not just the superficial adherence to the Law the Jews had achieved.
1. 2:5 – But because the self-righteous man judges other and does not repent himself, he is storing up more and more wrath for himself.
2. 2:6 - And God will judge each man for according to his deeds.
3. 2:7 – good deeds will bring life
4. 2:8-9 – Evil deed will bring wrath – to the Jew first and also to the Greek
5. 2:10 – Good will bring life – to the Jew first and also to the Greek
6. 2:11 God will not show favoritism to the Jews or the Greeks
7. 2:12 – Weather one sins under the law or without the law, it does not matter. Those who sin without the law will perish without the law. In the same way those who sin under the law will be punished under the law.
8. 2:13 – It doesn’t matter if one knows the law, if he doesn’t actually do it
9. 2:14-15 - and those who don’t have the law demonstrate that they have it written in their hearts when their conscience accuse them of their evil deeds or encourage them to do right.
10. 2:16 – And there will be a day when Jesus will judge each man’s secret lives.
Paul really turns on his readers now. Paul apparently feels that the Jews think they know the law and even teach it, but they clearly are breaking that law. Paul uses sarcasm when he asks “If the self-righteous man can teach the law why doesn’t he teach himself?” Then he asks three rhetorical questions:
i you say ‘don’t steal’, do you steal?
ii you say ‘ don’t commit adultery’, do you commit adultery?
iii You hate idols, but do you rob temples?
Paul intends to have the readers admit that in some way they commit these crimes. In verse 23 Paul declares that the Jews don’t keep the law, and in fact even the scriptures reveal that the Jewish disobedience is so bad that it actually encourages the gentiles to blaspheme God.
You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written. (Romans 2:23-24)
Not only is the self-righteous man guilty, but he is in a worse situation than the sinful gentile. He will also not escape judgment, and just now Paul revealed how he has broken the Law so that he causes even the gentiles to sin. Now, Paul explains that if the self-righteous man thinks his status as a Jew will help him, he is wrong. His physical situation means nothing to God, when his inward self is disobedient. . Paul makes an interesting point in Galatians. He adds that the purpose of the law was to bring them to a point where they could realize that they are sinners and therefore guilty so that they could understand their only hope is in God. Some, like David (Psalm 32:1) did come to this conclusion. Now Paul has concluded that weather a man is a gentile who sins against his conscience or a Jew who has mislead himself to believe that he has achieved the law, he is guilty before God.
iv 2:25 - Circumcision is made un-circumcision when the law is broken
v 2:26 – Un-circumcision is made circumcision when the law is obeyed
vi 2:27 – And if there is an uncircumcised man who keeps the law, can he judge a circumcised man who does not keep the law?
vii 2:28 - A man isn’t a Jew by flesh, nor is a man circumcised physically
viii 2:29 – A man is a Jew inwardly; a man is circumcised of the heart, by the Spirit not the letter. And his praise is of God and not man.
1. The Jews received the Word of God
2. So then does the fact that some unfaithful men are being punished mean that God is done with them?
3. No. God is always right in His judgment, even if every man is wrong.
4. Now some people actually say “If God is getting glory from our disobedience, then isn’t the fact that God is punishing us unfair?”
5. That’s crazy, how can God judge the world if that’s true?
6. (Sarcastically) So if through my lie (possibly sin[DL5] ) God is receiving glory, why am I still being punished as a sinner?
7. Wow! Why wouldn’t someone just say (and they do, even accusing me of saying it) that we should sin so that more good may come. They deserve their condemnation for sure.
Paul now concludes by describing the universality of guilt. Every single person is guilty. And although there are advantages to being a Jew, a Jew is not better than gentile and he is not innocent. All men are guilty. All men are caught under sin. And all men are in need of salvation.
1. The Jews have not believed
2. So both Jews and Gentiles are guilty (All are guilty - Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3)
3. The Purpose of the Law
“(19) Now the law is speaking to those that are under the law. The purpose is to remove all excuses and to make the entire world accountable to God. (20) This is why no one can be made innocent through the law, because the whole point of the law is to reveal to people that they are guilty of sin.” (DSV)
Paul now provides a summary of a new topic; the justification will be through faith. He makes a few important points.
1. It is through faith
2. It is through faith for all people including the Jews
The Jews may have thought that they might be justified by a different method. Paul however explains that justification was always by faith.
3. There is no boasting since salvation is not by good deeds
4. Justification is by faith, if not He would be God only of the Jews.
Paul offers 3 arguments for this proposition
1. 4:1-4 Scriptures clearly state that Abraham was justified by faith.
2. 4:4-5 Its only logical. If you’re working for something then it’s not really a gift, is it?
3. 4:6-8 David also speaks of the blessing of forgiveness though faith
4. 4:9-12 Abraham is a great example of how justification can’t be just to the circumcised because he wasn’t circumcised at this point.
In the end Abraham himself was justified by his hope despite his circumstances. God promised him to be the father of many nations. And this even took place before Abrahams circumcision. Paul argues that all of this is a testimony that justification is always by faith, for all of Abrahams children, circumcised or not.
1. 4:16-17 The promise is by grace to all of Abrahams children. Since he is the “father of many nations”
2. 4:18-25 Abraham hoped in in God despite all circumstances and this hope was the means of his salvation.
1. So by faith we have peace, and we have hope that will not disappoint because God loved us so much (5:1-5)
2. How much more does He love us now (5:6-11)
1. So even though men from Adam to Moses didn’t commit the sin, they stilled suffered for Adams sin (5:12-14)
2. So compare Adam’s mess to the Gift of Jesus, one man killed so many, and Jesus brings life to many (5:15-17)
3. And if Adam’s sin brought condemnation to so many, Jesus brought Justification to many. (5:18-21)
1. 6:1-7 We are dead to Sin
2. 6:8-11We are alive to God
3. 6:12-14 Do not sin
4. 6:15-19 God owns you now, do not obey your old owner Sin
5. 6:20-23 Sin brings death, now you can obey and gain life
Paul begins by calling to those who know the law, and points out that when a woman is married she is bound by law to her husband. She cannot sleep with another man or she is guilty of adultery. But when her husband dies, she’s free from that law, and she can marry anyone she wants.
According to Paul, believers were made to die to the Law in the same way. So now the believer is joined to Christ so that he can produce fruit for God. When a person is still in the flesh, his sinful desires, aroused by the Law, were at work in the body to bear fruit that kills. Now, though, the believer has been released from the Law, having died to the Law that use to keep him bound, he serves in the completely new way of the Spirit instead of obeying written Law.
In verse 5 Paul included that mans sinful desires are aroused when there’s a rule against them. Just like a child who wants a cookie, might not actually be as tempted by it had his mother forbade him to take one. Now Paul will take a second to assure the reader that the Law in itself isn’t evil because it has that effect.
(7) Paul begins by asking the rhetorical question is the law evil? Is it the Law’s fault that people are inclined to sin? The answer is no. The reason: because the law is actually warning people about what is wrong. A person might not know it’s wrong to covet, if it weren’t for the Law telling him. (8) It is mans sinful rebellious spirit that uses the Law to instigate covetousness of all kinds. Ironically, if it weren’t for the Law forbidding coveting, sin would not be so strong. (9) People were fine when they didn’t know that something was wrong, but when the rule were laid down, sin became alive and kill man. (10) This law which was supposed to lead man to life by warning him of evil proved to instigate man to sin and as a result death.
(12) So the Law in itself if good. (13) But did something good became the cause of death? Paul answers “no”. The Law didn’t cause death. The law simply revealed how bad sin really was. By showing man what is right and wrong, man found out how inclined he is to actually sin. His sinful nature was exposed, and the Law demonstrated how bad it really is.
In this passage Paul moves to a first person narrative as an example of how sin takes advantage of the Law to instigate sin. He emphasizes that this effect reveals to man how sinful he really is, and how much in need he is of a savior to rescue him from his sinful body[DL9] .
(14) So the Law is good and Spiritual, but the body is going to sin. (15) People would like to do good, but instead they do the very thing they don’t want to do. (16) So if a person agrees with the Law that he shouldn’t do something, then he essentially agree that the Law is right, but despite all this, he continues doing wrong. (17) This is when it becomes clear, that since you want to do good and don’t, there is something else, sin, that’s doing evil. (18) This is because in the human there is nothing good. There is perhaps the desire to do good, but whatever it takes to actually do good isn’t there.
(21) Now man has reached the conclusion that in the very person that wants to do good, lays a nature to do evil. (22) Inside he really does wish to do good, but (23) the body obeys sin instead. (24) How can I possibly be saved from this body of sin?
“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” (Romans 7:25 NLT)
Paul has finished his description of how a person is dead to the Law. He now moves to describe what it is to be alive to God, or “in the Spirit.”
Paul begins with a new thesis statement. There is now no condemnation for those in Christ. Why? Because God has done what the Law couldn’t do. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His son as an offering for sin, so that those who live in the Spirit, meet the requirements of the Law.
1. 5 – set their minds on the flesh
2. 6 – the mind set on flesh is death
3. 7 – it is hostile towards God
4. 7 – it is not subject to the law of God
5. 7 – it is not able to be subject to the law of God
6. 7 – those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
1. If the Spirit of God well sin you are of the Spirit
2. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him
3. If Christ is in you, the body is dead and the spirit is alive
4. But if the Spirit of Him is in you, He will also give you life.
So then if you are in the Spirit you are not obligated to live by the flesh but the Spirit. Since by the flesh you dies, but f you live by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
If you are lead by the Spirit of God, then you are sons of God. And if you’re a son of God don’t act like a fearful slave. His Spirit has come down into our hearts crying out to Him, “Dad!” And just like God gives everything to Jesus, He will share with us everything as well, but if we will share His glory, we also share His suffering.
The State of Israel
i God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy
ii He hardened Pharaoh for His purpose
iii The clay can’t talk back to the master
iv God has revealed to us His mercy in His justice to the jars for destruction
6. He has chosen not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles
i Hosea: Gentiles
ii Isaiah: the Jewish Remnant
7. So the gentiles find righteousness when they weren’t looking for it when the Jews who did look for it, not find it.
i Why? Because Israel pursued it by works
B. Israel’s Unbelief
1. They did not pursue righteousness by Faith 10:1-13
i Not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit themselves to God’s righteousness.
ii Moses says
2. Israel’s Rejection 10:14-21
i They need a preacher
ii But they did not heed the message
iii But they did hear the message
iv And they did know about the Gentile obedience
v But Israel did not obey
C. Israel has not been cast away
1. There is a remnant
2. The chosen of Israel obtained it, the rest were hardened 11:7-10
3. Their blindness is temporary, allowing the Gentiles to be saved
4. The wild branch has been grafted in by faith, but is more expendable than the natural branch.
5. After the partial hardening all of Israel will be saved
6. So you have the blessing due their disobedience
7. How unsearchable are His ways
Instructions on Christian Conduct
II. The Christian Way of Life
A. Christian Obedience
1. Living Sacrifice
2. Many Gifts one Body
3. General Instruction
4. Submit to the Government
5. Love one Another
6. Jesus is coming soon
B. Those with weaker faiths
1. Accept the weaker brother
2. Please others not yourself
C. Salvation for the Gentiles
D. The bold letter
E. Plans for Spain
F. Greetings and Final Word
1. Paul makes four points in his address 1:1-7
a. God promised the Gospel before hand through His prophets in the Bible
b. This promise was regarding His son, who was a phisical descendent of David
c. The powerful resurrection from the dead revealed that he was also __________________.
d. Through Jesus Paul received apostleship to bring Gentiles to the obedience of faith.
2. What has Paul been praying for? (1:10)
3. In 1:13 Paul sais he’s been prevented from visitng Rome. In Chapter 15:20-22 Paul explains why he has not been able to visit. What is his reason?
4. According to Romans 1:8-15 and 15:22-29, what does Paul want from the Romans? (list at least 3 things)
5. Memorize Romans 1:16-17
1. What two aspects of God’s nature are evident in creation? (1:20)
2. What is the sin described in Romans 1:21-23?
3. Paul says that since men did not repent of the sin described in 1:21-23, god allowed them to follow the lust of their hearts. What specific sin does he mean by that (1:24-26)?
4. List a four point outline of Paul’s description of the sinner.
1. What does Paul accuse the self-righteous man in Romans 2:1-11? (clue 2:1)
 Paul expounds on his purpose to visit Rome latter in the epistle when he sais in Romans 15:23-24 “but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while—“
 The Jews thought they could achieve righteousness by following the law. The human flesh, however, can not please God. Those who mistakenly assumed they could please God in their flesh are being addressed here. Although Paul is specifically addressing Jews in this context, he is not addressing their ethnicity. Instead he is addressing the idea that a man feels he is righteous by the Law of Moses. Inherently, this man would be a Jew.
 Romans 2:21 (NLT) “Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself?”
 According to Logos Isaiah 52:5 is the context of this verse. “Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the Lord, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the Lord declares, “Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. (NASB 95)
 This passage is constantly misunderstood and used to describe the Christian’s struggle with sin. This is a sad expression of the fact that Christians view salvation as pertaining to hell and not to sins grip. Paul has emphasized this entire epistle that salvation is primarily from the grip of sin.
[DLL1]talk Introduction of Content 8-17
16-17 Thesis (The Gospel is the Power of God for Salvation for both Jews and Gentiles)
[DL2]1:7 To all who are in Rome, instead of the church.
[DLL3]2:1-16 The Impartiality of God: Reffers to the consequesnses of unrighteousness fo rhte purpose of this section is wanted to show that all need to be justified by faith.
[DLL4]This Title may need some fixing
[DL5]I really have to conider the roll of the concept of the lie in 3:1-8. It apears in the saying, "Let God be true, even if all men be found liers." Then again in Verse seven. Verse 5 seems to interchange lie with unrighteousness, which may make the idea of the lie simply an example or even a type of sin.
[DLL6]Justification is 3:21-31
21-26 act of justification witnessed /demonstrated
27-30 Justification for all apart from law/ by faith
31 La established
[DLL7]Agree with Stephanie on verse 31 being parenthetical or different in some way.. maybe a marker
[DL8]What in the world does it mean that "For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. " John Murray leads me to think that "if the heir are by the law, then it's hopless; faith and promise are worthless because the law only results in condemnation, the only place there is no transgression is where there is no law".
[DL9]This is an excelent passage to demonstrate that man is saved from sin, not just from hell.