"Surveying the Land"
Introduction: The best method of Bible study is "The Book Method". Romans stands at the door of all the New Testament Epistles in Bible order. The reason this book is first in Bible order is because it contains the foundation truths of all the Christian faith. Among the letters that Paul wrote there are three that are pivotal.
Together they may be analyzed in this way:
- (1) Romans—The Mystery of CHRIST'S CROSS
- (a) Corinthians—Reproof because of departure from moral living
- (b) Galatians—Correction because of departure from doctrinal teaching.
- (2) Ephesians—The Mystery of CHRIST'S CHURCH
- (a) Philippians—Reproof because of departure from moral living.
- (b) Colossians—Correction because of departure from doctrinal teaching.
- (3) Thessalonians—The Mystery of CHRIST'S COMING.
After the rapture there is no need of reproof or correction. Therefore, no church epistles follow Thessalonians. It was given to Paul to expound the mysteries.
- THE CROSS expounded in Romans 6:6.
- THE CHURCH expounded in Ephesians 5:32.
- THE COMING expounded in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.
I. The Person— Paul was the writer.
- (1) The signature of the writer—It stands at the head of the letter.
- (2) The status of the writer—Paul not only introduces himself by name but describes himself a "bondservant of Jesus Christ."
- (3) The style of the writer—In all inspired writings the personality of the author is seen. This is very true in Paul's case.
II. The Period
- (1) This letter was written in February while Paul was on his third missionary journey, some twenty-five years after Christ died. Compare Acts 19:21; Romans 15:24-28; II Corinthians 13:1
III. The People
- (1) This epistle is not addressed to the Church at Rome, but rather to "all the saints." Romans 1:7 The Christians
- of that day were scattered in groups meeting secretly in homes because of the persecution by Nero. Romans 16:5 In chapter sixteen Paul mentions these groups by name. Although scattered, they were "one body" in Christ.
- (2) Note three things about this group:
- (a) Its Commencement—Peter did not found that local Church. He was never there. Paul did not found it. Note Romans 1:8-15 Visitors from Rome were present at Pentecost.
- (b) Its Composition—Mainly Gentile believe—verse of four congregations. Romans 16:3-15
- (c) Its Condition—It was a happy, healthy church. Romans 1:8
IV. The Purpose
This may be regarded as fourfold:
- (1) The Divine Purpose
The primary purpose of any book is always Divine. That is why it is the Divine Library. This book answers the inquiry, "How can a man be just with God?" Job 9:2; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11 Here we have the fullest exposition of the Gospel.
- (2) The Dogmatic Purpose
Paul gives a comprehensive statement of theology. It is a statement on the one hand that presents truth and on the other combats error.
- (3) The Devotional Purpose
- (a) Paul knew that "all roads lead to Rome" and that "all roads lead from Rome," The capital was a center from which a radiant living testimony could go forth.
- (b) A Greek woman was about to visit the city and Paul wrote to commend her to the Roman brethren. Romans 16:1-2
- (c) Paul himself was soon to visit the city and was announcing his coming. Romans 1:9-15
(1) The Righteousness of God in Relation to Salvation. Romans 1 through 8
- Righteousness REQUIRED (1:18 to 3:20)
- Righteousness REVEALED (3:21 to 3:31)
- Righteousness RECKONED (4:1 to 4:25)
- Righteousness RECEIVED (5:1-21)
- Righteousness REALIZED (6:1 to 8:39)
(2) The Righteousness of God in Relation to Sovereignty. Romans 9 through 11
- Selection of Israel (9:1-33)
- Separation of Israel (10:1-21)
- Salvation of Israel (11:1-36)
(3) The Righteousness of God in Relation to Service. Romans 12 through 16
- Problems of Service (12:1-13:14)
- Principles of Service (14:1-15:13)
- Prologue (1:1-17)
- Epilogue (15:14-16-27)
I. Doctrine— God's Plan of Salvation (Romans 1 through 8)
Four Doctrines—Condemnation, Justification, Sanctification, (By faith alone, Romans 3; always, Romans 4; altogether, Romans 5.) and Glorification.
II. Dispensational— God's Purpose in Selection (Romans 9 through 11)
- Israel's Election by Grace (Romans 9)
- Israel's Ejection of Christ (Romans 10)
- Israel's Expectation of Recovery (Romans 11)
III. Devotional— God's Principles of Separation (Romans 12 through 16)