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).

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