Introduction: The epistle of Romans is Paul’s greatest work. There is nowhere to be found more complete revelation of Christian doctrines as revealed in Romans. The fact of Christianity is centered in Jesus Christ and the four gospels present the historical account of His life. The force of the gospel is recorded in the book of Acts. It is followed by Epistles and Revelation. The fact of Christian faith without inspired interpretation can be misunderstood. The book of Romans is the inspired interpretation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So Romans has rightly been known as the “Constitution of Christianity,” “The Christian Manifesto”. It is the complete revelation of Christian doctrines. Romans records the doctrines of the revelation of God in nature, the fall of man, the total depravity of sinners, the doctrine of justification, the doctrine of sanctification, the preservation of the saints, the divine election and many more. It explains the Gospel as the most powerful transforming force in the human history and differentiates Christianity from all other religions. The gospel reveals the Savior of the world. The importance of the epistle of Romans cannot be overstated. It is the gateway to the New Testament theology like the brazen alter in the Tabernacle of the Old Testament. The study of the book of Romans was instrumental in the conversion of great men like Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Wesley. All great spiritual revival started as the result of the understanding of this book. The book of Romans is the basic training manual for Christians.
Authorship and the Church at Rome: The epistle of Romans was written by Apostle Paul at the end of his third missionary journey from Corinth. Paul claims to be the author of Romans (Rom 1:1). He wrote seven epistles to New Testament Churches and this is his sixth epistle. Most likely Paul wrote Romans between A.D 57-58 from Corith. It is impossible to determine with certainty who founded the Church at Rome. It is evident that Paul did not establish this Church (Rom 1:10, 11, and 13). Peter must be ruled out as well because he was a pillar or leader in the Church at Jerusalem (Gal 2:9). Paul did not want to preach the gospel and build upon another man’s foundation (Rom 15:20). Then how the Church at Rome was founded? There are two possibilities. It was possible that believers at Pentecost carried their new faith in Christ to Rome and founded this Church (Acts 2:9-11). Another possibility is that migrated believers from the Churches established by Paul were instrumental in founding the Church at Rome. This Church was made up of both Jews and Gentiles (Rom 4:1; 1:5).
Purpose of Writing: Paul already spent twenty years in evangelizing and establishing churches in Asia Minor. Now he is looking forward to visit Jerusalem to hand over the gift received from the Gentile Churches (Rom 15:25-28). Once that mission was completed he wanted to go to new places where no one labored (Rom 15:20). His choice was to visit Spain. On his way Paul wanted to visit Rome and spend some time with the believers there which was his lifelong desire. The purpose of visiting Rome was to enlist the support of the Church for the missionary campaign in Spain and to request their prayers support. Since Paul was the Apostle to Gentiles, he wanted to add validity to the church at Rome by his visit. Paul knew that the Roman church was in need of apostolic validation. Also Paul wanted to deposit a written text of Christian faith to this Church to spare believers from doctrinal errors.
1. Introduction. 1:1-17
2. The World is guilty before God and in need of Righteousness. 1:18- 3:20.
3. The Righteousness is provided through Faith in Christ. 3:21-5:21.
4. Sanctification through union with Christ in His death and Resurrection. 6-8
5. God’s Sovereign Wisdom and grace towards Israel. 9-11.
6. Practical Exhortations. 12-15:13.
7. Conclusion. 15:14-16:27
May God bless you all.