The Book of Romans
7 January 2018
“This epistle is the real chief part of the New Testament and the very purest gospel, which, indeed, deserves that a Christian not only know it word for word by heart but deal with it daily as with daily bread of the soul. For it can never be read or considered too much or too well, and the more it is handled, the more delightful it becomes, and the better it tastes.”
The book’s author and date:
AD 55 , end of third missionary journey – Romans 15:25-26, Acts 20:1-6
Called by God miraculously, struck blind, etc.
Missionary to Gentiles
“Servant of Jesus Christ”
Place within the cannon:
Pauline Epistle (letter)
Means it’s more of a “systematic” work, rather than a narrative or history or poetry
First among the Epistles, according to importance, not date
Audience and occasion:
The church in Rome
He longs to visit, but has been “prevented” (not because they’re Gentiles) – he eventually makes it and stays two years. Acts. 28:30
How the church at Rome began:
No one is named, but Romans are among those in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Surely these along with those scattered after the martyrdom of Stephen started the Christian church there. This is separate from the Jewish church in Jerusalem, which Paul will himself do mission work among when he eventually gets there.
Rome burns is 64, it’s blamed in Christians and Nero begins his persecution
Eventually Peter is nailed to a cross in Rome and Paul is beheaded there.
Not written to address any sort of controversy or correct any major error as some epistles are.
How does Paul identify himself?
How does he define the Gospel?
How does he identify who Jesus is and what He did?
What’s the point of all this?
How does this greeting conclude? Why is this important?
What is Paul’s relationship to this church in Rome?
What is his hope regarding that church?
To come to them, and do mission work among the Jews and Gentiles there.
How does Paul make it clear that the Gospel is for everyone?
How does one receive this Gospel?
What does the Gospel do to sinners?
This will be a key and major theme of the rest of the book.