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Romans – an Introduction

Author:

Paul – the same Paul we can follow through the Book of Acts

Date/Place:

About 57AD – just before Paul travelled back to Jerusalem (see Acts 20) he was probably staying in Corinth

Background of the Church in Rome:

The Church in Rome is the only Church he writes to that he didn’t plant – there is no biblical reference to the Church in Rome starting. The theory of most is that it occurred as a result of people in Jerusalem during the feast of Pentecost (Acts 2).

The Church was still in its infancy at this time (although we would consider a 25 year old church established) and was only allowed to exist in the Roman Empire because it was considered a subset of Judaism. The majority of meetings would have occurred in the synagogues initially; however, in 55AD all Jews were expelled from Rome, this meant that the Church became more Gentile in nature.

Paul writes this letter to a mostly Gentile Church – there were still Jewish members but they were the minority at the time of writing.

Why write a letter to the Church in Rome?

The 21 st Century Church looks at ‘Romans’ as the most complete theological statement we have – BUT – we forget that it was written for a specific reason at the time.

This is exceptionally debated among the Church; however, there are some things we need to consider:

Paul had an ongoing struggle with those who sought to force the law on Christians

Paul had a desire to minister to the Church in Rome

Paul was on his way to preach in Spain and need to stay somewhere

Paul had a desire to see uniform understanding of the Gospel of Christ throughout the Gentile community (his mission field)

What does this mean for us?

For us here in 2011 this is still a relevant letter – this single letter, when understood, will revolutionise your relationship with God.

This letter gives a wonderful account of God’s Grace and the implications for those who accept this gift.

It also unequivocally deals with doctrinal issues within the Church (both in 57AD and in 2011 AD)

Romans 1:1-7 (my translation)

Paul the

the good news of God, the same good news that is the ‘

declared through the sacred words of His prophets about His son – who is the offspring of David in flesh, having been appointed the son of God in power through a spirit of holiness out of resurrection from death, Jesus

Christ our Lord has

in all nations through His name, including you called of Jesus Christ; to all

of you in Rome

grace to you all and peace through God our father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:1-7 (NASB)

Paul, a bond servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace

and apostleship

, among whom you are also called of Jesus

: Grace to

you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:1-7 (NKJV)

Paul, a bond servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God, which He promised before through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome,

slave
slave

of Jesus Christ,

invited to be

an apostle and separated

into
into

promise of old’

given us grace and apostleship

to bring obedient faith

unconditionally loved of God

, called to be separated,

to bring about the obedience of faith among all the

called as saints

Gentiles for his name’s sake

Who was Paul?

The Church in Rome had never met him – some members may have

Conversion

o

Summarise Acts 9:1-18

o

Read Acts 9:15

Slave mentality despite Jesus’ words in John 15 (which Paul didn’t have)

o

Humility

o

Submission

o

Devotion

o

Hardship

o

Obedience

Apostle – sent for a specific mission

o

See Acts 9:15

o

This mission got him into a lot of trouble

!

He was:

 

Beaten

Imprisoned

Chased out of synagogues and towns

o

Broader meaning (Messenger)

! We reap the rewards of this 20 centuries later

What is this Gospel?

Gospel means ‘Good News’

Promise of Old

o

Through the Prophets

! Isaiah 53

! John the Baptist

o

Had to be born of the right heritage

!

See Matthew 1

o

What made Jesus the Christ

! Resurrection was the sealer

! Summarise Christology Package Deal

Grace for everyone

o Jew first and the gentile

Apostleship for everyone

o Great Commission Matthew 28:18-20

Given to promote obedient faith

o Accepting salvation means we will change

! Jesus said you know them by their fruit

! Paul in 1 Cor 15 we may not all die but we will all be changed

! Indeed before we finish this study this will be reinforced

Standard Greeting

! Grace and Peace

Must be in that order

o

When we struggle for peace we are forgetting about the grace we have been given

o

2 Cor 12:9 (My grace is sufficient for you)

Eternal perspective

! Only realised when you acknowledge the unconditional love God has for you through Jesus

Reverse order

Summary

o

Accepting God’s love for us

o

Gives Grace & Peace

o

Acknowledges our place in reality

o

Brings us to submission/slavery

o

Brings fulfilment