Route 66 - Stop 45: ROMANS

Audio File: 
Speaker: 
Dr. Rich McCarrell
Date: 
Sunday, January 7, 2018

Author:            Apostle Paul – (Romans 1:1)

 

There is evidence to indicate the probability of Corinth as the place of writing (Romans 16:1-2, eastern seaport of Corinth, 16:23, and I Corinthians 1:14 church at Corinth met in his home). Probably written near the end of Paul’s third missionary journey as he was about to travel to Jerusalem.

 

Date:                About A.D. 58 during Paul’s third visit to Corinth (II Cor. 13:1).

 

Recipients:      

The believers in Rome (Romans 1:6-7, 15). The congregation was predominately Gentile (1:13/11:13) etc. No one really knows who founded this church, either converts from the Day of Pentecost who traveled back to Rome – or converts of Paul or another Apostle. Paul who  had not been there personally, long desired to visit (Romans 1:9-13, 15:22-29). In fact Acts 19:21 shows Paul praying passionately seeking God’s will. Little did he realize that his trip would be cut short by his arrest in Jerusalem. He eventually made it to Rome, but as a prisoner.  

 

Theme:                       

The Righteousness of God.

Some statements scholars have made about this book:

   * “The most profound work in existence”

    * “The most comprehensive statement of the full meaning of the cross of Christ.”

    * “The foundation of Christian theology.”

    * “The most dynamic account of the work of God to man.”

    * “In order to properly understand what Jesus did for man, it is of the utmost importance    that you know this book.”

   * “This is the widest possible designation of the whole body of redemption truth. It relates to the whole world because there is no favoritism (2:11) with Him who is the God of the Jews and of the  Gentiles too (3:29). Accordingly, all humanity is found guilty (3:19, 23) and a justification is revealed sufficient for man’s need   and received through faith alone (3:28). Romans states the divine provision of God’s grace whereby He is able to declare sinners as righteous through the atoning work of His Righteous Son. It goes on to set forth the nature of the new life which all justified persons may enjoy through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.” C.I. Scofield

                       

Obviously, the book of Romans is a strategic and important book. Above everything else, it explains how a holy God justifies sinful mankind, using the Greek word “justify” fourteen times. Throughout the rest of the entire New Testament this word is used only fourteen more times. Eight in Galatians which is a theological companion to Romans.

 

Along with “justify” being used fourteen times, “justification” is used three times, “faith”  is used thirty-seven times and “Christ” is used thirty-nine times. Fits into a pattern – How is a sinner justified? By faith alone in Christ alone!

 

 This is the book that ignited Martin Luther, started the Reformation fires and reveals the       power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes! Romans 1:16-17 are the key verses. Note that v. 17 appears first in Habakkuk 2:4. The central theme of the Bible, it occurs three times in the New Testament. Here “The Just” – Gal. 3:11 “shall live” – Heb. 10:38 “by faith.”

 

                       

Purpose:          

Throughout this book we see three purposes for Paul writing. First, to share with the people his desire to visit them and also why he had not visited them already (Romans 1:10, 1:13, 15:24). Secondly, the Roman church was predominately Gentile but there were also Jewish believers present. The obvious question arose concerning God’s future purpose for Israel  in light of the message of Christianity. God’s attribute of faithfulness would be called into question. Thus chapters 9-11. Third, to give a clear exposition of justification by faith to this church which was located in a very strategic position physically and spiritually (Romans 16:17-19, 1:16-17).

 

Outline:           

Acts 17 informs us that the Apostle Paul was well trained. He had been schooled and tutored by some of the best “thinkers” of his day. Therefore, he was trained to develop logical arguments. This is exactly how he develops the theme of Romans. Just think logically through the plan of salvation and you can think logically through this book. There are three main points and then a very logical progression of sub-points. Also, it is righty placed first among the Epistles as it lays out the central truths of Christianity.

                       

In light of the theme, note:                  

  1. Doctrinal  (Romans 1:1-8:39)
    * Chapters 1–3
      Mans need presented in contrast to the righteousness of God.
    * Chapter 3:21-4:25
     The righteousness of God is made available to man
    * Chapters 5-8
    To those who respond to the offer of this righteousness there are many blessings

 

  1. Dispensational (Romans 9-11)
    * What of God’s mercy in the past and promises for the future to the nation of Israel? In this section, Paul defends God’s righteousness in how he has always dealt with people and specifically the nation of Israel. He was merciful in the past, He is merciful in His discipline in the present, and He will be merciful in His restoration of them in the future. God is faithful and cannot go back on any of His promises.

 

  1. Practical (Romans 12:1-16:27)
    * Here is the application of the righteousness of God to the everyday life of the responsive believer.
    * All possible relationships are covered between a believer and his God, fellow believers, unbelievers, government, the law of love, questionable actions, etc. etc., etc.
    * Paul then concludes this book by imparting a spiritual blessing to the recipients, giving greetings and parting exhortations.
    Ryrie reminds us that a number of Christian doctrines are shared – natural revelation (1:19-20) universality of sin (3:9-20) justification (3:24) propitiation (3:25) faith (ch. 4) original sin (5:12) union with Christ (ch. 6) election and rejection of Israel (chs. 9-11) spiritual gifts (12:3-8) respect for government (13:1-7). Even though Paul had not visited this church, he knew of many in the church through acquaintance with mutual friends (ch. 16).

As one author said, “Read this book often, marvel in the work that God has done for us and share this book with others…”