Romans - Introduction

Book Introduction - Romans

Read first chapter of Romans

WRITER: The Apostle Paul ( Romans 1:1 ).

DATE: Romans, the sixth in chronological order of Paul's Epistles, was written from Corinth during the apostle's third visit to that city. 2 Corinthians 13:1 in A.D. 60. The Epistle has its occasion in the intention of the apostle soon to visit Rome. Naturally, he would wish to announce before his coming the distinctive truths which had been revealed to and through him. He would desire the Christians in Rome to have his own statement of the great doctrines of grace so bitterly assailed everywhere by legalistic teachers.

THEME: The theme of Romans is "the Gospel of God" ( Romans 1:1 ), the very widest possible designation of the whole body of redemption truth, for it is He with whom is "no respect of persons"; and who is not "the God of the Jews only," but "of the Gentiles also" ; Romans 2:11 ; 3:29 . Accordingly, "all the world" is found guilty Romans 3:19, and a redemption is revealed as wide as the need, upon the alone condition of faith. Not only does Romans embody in the fullest way the doctrines of grace in relation to salvation, but in three remarkable chapters (9-11.) the great promises to Israel are reconciled with the promises concerning the Gentiles, and the fulfilment of the former shown to await the completion of the church and coming of the Deliverer out of Zion Romans 11:25-27 . The key-phrase is "the righteousness of God" ; Romans 1:17 ; Romans 3:21 Romans 3:22 .

The Epistle, exclusive of the introduction ( 1:1-17 ), is in seven parts.

  1. The whole world guilty before God, 1:18-3:20.
  2. Justification through the righteousness of God by faith, the Gospel remedy for guilt, 3:21-5:11.
  3. Crucifixion with Christ, the resurrection life of Christ, and the walk in the Spirit, the Gospel provision for inherent sin, 5:12-8:13.
  4. The full result in blessing of the Gospel, 8:14-39.
  5. Parenthesis: the Gospel does not abolish the covenant promises to Israel, 9:1-11:36.
  6. Christian life and service, 12:1-15:33.
  7. The outflow of Christian love, 16:1-27.