Romans: Background Materials and Outline

Romans Introduction and Background

Introduction: An epistolary placed first as the preface to the rest of them in theological value, and because Acts ends with a journey of Paul to Rome.

1. 1:1 identifies Paul as author. Name mentioned only once.
2. Of tribe of Benjamin (11:1, cp. Phil. 3:5)
3. Sent greeting to Aquila and Priscilla (16:3, cp. Acts 18:2-3)
4. Referred to Jerusalem journey to give money to ailing believers (15: 25-27, cp. Acts 19:21; 20:1-5; 21:15, 17-19)
5. Mentions an intended visit to Rome (1:10-13,15 cp. Acts 19:21)

About the Author
1. Born in Tarsus (Acts 22:3), a city of Cilicia. The city was of importance of Alexandria, and a provincial settlement, thus he was “born free” (Acts 22:28)
2. “Young man” at the stoning of Stephen, but a Sanhedrin (Acts 6:12; 7:58; 8:1)
member, thus early thirties, and born about the time of Jesus.
3. Taught by Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Occasion of the Writing
1. Between 47-8 Paul’s campaigns concentrated on the Asia Minor roadway cities, the Macedonian and Greek cities, and the Aegean transport routes.
2. By 56/7 he spent his winter in Corinth with Gaius, looking toward his coming
Jerusalem journey. Cenchrea (16:1) was the eastern port for the city. He was in
Greece “three months” according to Acts 20:3. After leaving Corinth, Paul was in Phillippi for Pesach Acts 20:6, and desired to reach Jerusalem by Shavuot (Pentecost) in the fall (20:16). Letter written in about 57.

Purpose of the Writing
1. Phoebe’s upcoming trip to Rome afforded him a courier (Rom. 16:2). This letter would announce his coming visit after his trip to Jerusalem.
2. To present a complete and detailed version of the gospel as he taught it that there be clarity by this group who had not yet seen the Apostolic visits.
3. To quell the struggle between new Gentile converts from places in Asia and Jewish believers in Rome, who feared the trend would turn Anti-Semitic.
4. To show directly the connection between the Jewish and Church Programs.

The Book of Romans

Summary of Major Themes
Passage:                  Area:                     Theme:                                        Issue:
1: 1-17                     Salutation           Revealing God’s Righteousness        Shame

1:18-3:20              Condemnation   Our Absolute Unrighteousness               Sin

3:21-5:21              Justification        Righteousness Imputed to us               Salvation

6:1-8,39                Sanctification      Righteousness Imparted to us            Separation

9:1-11,36        Vindication       Righteousness Rejected by Israel            Sovereignty

12:1-15:13          Application           His Righteousness Through us            Service

15:14-16:27         Benediction           God’s Righteous Work in Paul           Salutation

Romans Outline

I. Salutation (1:1-17)

A. The Background of the Writer (1-5).
1. Servant (1).
2. Apostle missionary (2-5).

B. The Background of the Receivers (6,7).

C. Habits of the Writer (8-12).
1. Thankful (8).
2. Serve with spirit (9).
3. Prayer (9,10).
4. Use of gift (11).
5. Comforter (12).

D. Hopes of the Writer (13).

E. Convictions of the Writer (14-16).
1. I am a debtor (14).
2. I am ready (15).
3. I am not ashamed (16).
F. The Theme of the Writer (17).
The Righteousness of God is Revealed in the Gospel Message

II. Condemnation (1:18-3:20).

A. The Heathen (natural man) is condemned (1:18-32).

B. The Moralist is condemned (2: 1-16). God will judge:
1. v.2:
2. v.6:
3. v.11:

C. The Religious (Jew) is condemned (2:17-3:20).

III. Justification (3:21-5:21).

A. The solution is for all: Jew and Gentile (3:21-31).

B. The solution is by faith (4:1-5:21).
1. Abraham is a good demonstration of faith apart from law (4:1-8).
2. Abraham is a good demonstration of faith apart from circumcision
(religious practice and Jewish heritage)— (4:9-15).
3. Abraham type of faith is applicable to us in relation to the revelation of God through His Son! (4:24-5:21).
Note: Limited or Universal Atonement? Compare 5: 12-14.

IV. Sanctification (6:1-8:39).
A. The relationship of the Saved to Self and Sin (6:1-23).
1. Know-
2. Reckon-
3. Yield-
4. Obey-

B. The relationship of the Saved to the Law (7:1-25).
1. We are dead to the Law (1-6) which was written for a different relationship.
2. The purpose of the Law (explaining God’s character) is complete (7).
3. Law causes a negative reaction on my life toward God (8-12).
4. Law produces false comfort or terrible frustration (13-24).

C. The relationship of the Saved to the Spirit (8:1-39).
1. No condemnation (1-4).
2. No obligation (5-17).
3. No frustration (18-30).

V. Vindication (9:1-11:36). (Of God’s Righteousness to Israel).

A. Israel’s Past (9).
1. Paul’s concern (1-5).
2. God’s choice (6-13).
3. God’s right (14-33).

B. Israel’s Present (10).
1. Israel’s state (10:1-4).
2. Israel’s salvation (5-13).
3. Israel’s stubbornness (14-21).

C. Israel’s Future (11).
1. Israel’s rejection is not total (1-10).
2. Israel’s rejection is not final (11-32).
3. Israel’s rejection is God’s mercy (33-36).

VI. Application (12:1-15:13).

A. Our relationship to God Affected (1,2).
1. Presentation.
2. Separation.
3. Transformation.

B. Our relationship to the body affected (3-21).
1. Because of spiritual gifts (3-8)
a. Use gifts in humility (3).
b. Use gifts in unity (4).
c. Be useful to body (5-8).

C. Our relationship to the Government Affected (13:1-7).
1. Submission (1,2).
2. Respect (3-5).
3. Helpful (6,7).

D. Our relationship to our neighbor affected (13:8-10).

E. Our relationship to time affected (13:11-14).

F. Our relationship to the weaker believing brother affected (14:1-15:13).
1. Develop conviction (14:1-12).
2. Develop conscience (14: 13-23).
3. Develop consideration (15: 1-13).

VII. Benediction (15:14-16:27).

A. Paul’s Purpose (15:14-29) Seen in his:
1. Philosophy (14-21).
2. Goal (22-24).
3. Present journey (25-29).
4. Request (30-33).

B. Paul’s Greetings (16: 1-16).

C. Paul’s Final Call (16:17-20).

D. Paul’s companions (21-24).

E. Paul’s Closing Praise (25-27).

Romans 11 Side Note: God is ever faithful! Take a look back!

To Abraham’s sinful and impatient journey into Egypt, God offered a blessed promise to give him countless children. To Sarah’s faithless presentation of her handmaid to bare a child, God answered with children of both Hagar and Sarah – with Sarah in her old age! To Jacob’s deception of his father, God brought a dream of a ladder and twelve sons to surround him in his later days. For, my friend, He is ever faithful!

To Joseph’s brothers who sold him into slavery and broke the heart of their father, God brought the salvation of Egypt’s storehouses to keep their children alive in a vast famine! To Moses’ impulsive killing of an Egyptian guard, God brought a burning bush and a commission of leadership with unprecedented miracles and signs. To Israel’s golden calves in the wilderness God brought the tablets of the law, and the plans for a traveling worship center! Why? Because our God is ever faithful!

To a murmuring and faithless generation of Israelites in the desert God brought manna from the winds and water from the rocks. To Aachan’s sinful stealing of the spoils of Jericho, God brought victory upon victory into the hands of His people against the Canaanite foe. To an angry and thankless generation of Israel’s children God brought champion upon champion to rescue the tribes from their self-caused enslavement! All this He did, and more, for He is ever faithful!

From hard-hearted and stubborn men who insisted on a king, God brought a tender-hearted, singing shepherd to the throne! To a pleasure seeking and self-indulgent king, God brought the princes of the world to pay homage to the Temple at Jerusalem. Nineteen kings passed through the throne of Jerusalem’s Judean kingdom – most of them evil- hearted and selfish. Yet God brought prophet upon prophet to assure them He had not left them:

· Isaiah cried out that a Savior would come! God was not finished with them!

· Jeremiah promised that God would renew the hearts of this people! He still wanted them!

· Ezekiel shared the plans of a Temple that would finally bring people to the
true worship! How their God loved to hear them praise!

· Daniel told of a time when the nations would no longer punish Jerusalem! God waited to restore “the mountain He set his name upon for all the ages”.

· Hosea exposed the broken heart of God for the adulterous generation to turn and be restored! Even used – she could be restored to His love!

· Joel warned of the invasion of men like locusts into Israel! God would use the nations to break the will of His people, that they may again feel His warm embrace!

· Amos shouted to a heartless crowd of coming blows of judgment so that God could plow the ground for a future harvest of blessing to His beloved nation!

· Micah howled a bitter judgment to Israel’s mountain fortresses, for God wanted the worship of His people for Him alone!

· Nahum forecast the destruction of the great city of Nineveh, for God would not allow heathen to harm His beloved without retribution.

· From the darkest days of Judah’s sinful past, God brought a song to Zephaniah to promise days of strength and blessing ahead – for God was not finished with His people!

God said the nation of Israel is the “apple of His eye” (Zech 2:8) and the object of His “everlasting love” (Jer. 31:1). She is His beloved wife, His eternal possession, His inheritance redeemed through His greatness (Dt. 9:6). He promised that the “sun would fade into darkness, stars would fall” before His love for them would end, and God is ever faithful!