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NT Survey - 4 - Romans

The next book in the New Testament is written by Paul written to the church at Rome, which explains the name "Romans." Paul uses this letter to develop a strong theological foundation to a church that was experiencing a relative peace but was soon to experience much persecution. Paul's letter showed them how to build their faith, allowing them to live for and to serve God effectively.

RomansThe apostle Paul wrote the letter from the Greek city of Corinth in AD 56-57, shortly after Nero had become Emperor of Rome. The situation in Rome had not yet deteriorated for the Roman Christians, as was to happen a few short years later. Paul had wanted to travel to Rome, but had been hindered to that point. A year or so after he wrote this letter, he was arrested in Jerusalem, and started his journey to Rome, as a prisoner.

Paul reveals the answers to many important questions and supplies information on many topics, such as salvation, the sovereignty of God, judgment, spiritual growth, and the righteousness of God. This righteousness can only be received by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

The righteousness of God" could be considered the primary theme in the book of Romans, as Paul builds upon this thought in every section of this letter. Paul wants to ensure that all readers of his letter realize that salvation cannot be obtained through any of man's good deeds, but rather only through faith in God's righteousness.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
Romans 1:16-17 (NKJV)

With the theme of God's righteousness in His plan for salvation running through Paul's letter to the Romans, people often use a collection of verses from Romans known as the Romans Road to share the gospel with others.

 

The Romans Road

The Roman Road is a collection of verses in Romans that offers a clear and structured path to Jesus Christ. It clearly states that we are in need of a Saviour and how we can appropriate the salvation that Jesus offers. It is important that we understand that nothing we do can bring us to a place that deserves heaven, no "good work" that is enough to "outweigh" our sins. You cannot repair your relationship with God through any good deeds; it can only be accomplished through faith in the perfect and finished work of Jesus Christ.

First, it is important that we recognize and acknowledge God as the Creator of everything.

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Romans 1:20-21 (NIV)

After acknowledging God as Creator, the next step is to recognize our position and realize our unworthiness.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 (NIV)

However, our sinfulness is overcome through the love of God for each of us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Paul also contrasts works (the wage or payment for our sins) to the gift of eternal life that God gives us.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 (NIV)

Having recognized that our works (wages of sin) is not going to gain us salvation, we must accept the gift that God is offering to us and acknowledge (or confess) that we believe that God raised Him from the dead and confess Him as Lord.

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

It is important to recognize that none of our rituals or good works will save us, only calling upon the name of the Lord.

for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Romans 10:13 (NIV)

Once we have made that decision to accept the gift of salvation from God, to call upon the name of the Lord, we can be sure of our salvation based upon the promises that God has given us.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:1 (NIV)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Romans 8:1 (NIV)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

 

Outlining of Romans

Paul has written a very detailed and structured discourse with this book. Due to its detail, there are a number of different ways that the book can be outlined. The simplest outline would be to divide the book according to Paul's instructions on Christian lifestyle:

In chapters 1-8, Paul explains the fundamentals and foundations of the Christian faith.

In chapters 9-11, Paul explains God's sovereignty over salvation.

In chapters 12-16, Paul gives instructions for all Christians about how to live a holy lifestyle.

A more detailed, and specific, outline would be to set the various divisions based upon justification, such as:

  1:1-17 Introduction
  1:18-3:20 The Need for Justification
  3:21-4:25 The Means of Justification
  5:1-8:29 The Results of Justification
  9:1-11:36 The Justice of Justification
  12:1-15:13 Our Response to Justification
  15:14-16:27 Conclusion

 

Other Key Verses

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?  If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God.  What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
Romans 4:1-3 (NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:1-6 (NIV)

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:9-11 (NIV)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Romans 8:28-30 (NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)

for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Romans 11:29 (NIV)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,  but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him--  to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Romans 16:25-27 (NIV)

The complex structure of the book of Romans offers a hint into the importance of the book in the everyday lives of believers. Beginning with eleven chapters of doctrine, the book then transitions into five chapters of practical instruction. This blending between doctrine and life shows us the absolute importance of both what we believe and how we live out those beliefs.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
Romans 11:33 (NIV)

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