Advance Studies in the book Of Romans Part 1


Romans is one of the most difficult NT books to comprehend (secondary to maybe Hebrews). Thus, it is a very doctrinally deep book.

Romans is a great exposition of the faith. It is the complete and most logical presentation of Christian truth in the entire NT. If a Bible student wishes to master any one book of the Bible, let it be Romans! An understanding of this book is a key to unlocking the entire Word of God. (Warren Wiesbe)

That Paul is the author of this letter is denied by almost no one. Even the ancient heretics admitted Romans was written by Paul. So do the modern (19 th century and later) radical German critics, who deny many other facts in the Scriptures. Paul identified himself as the author by name, of course (1:1); but that is no guarantee of the acceptance of his authorship, since he did that in all his letters, including those for which his authorship is questioned or denied.

(Bible Knowledge Commentary)

The year [of the book’s writing] may be fixed with great probability as 58 A.D. This estimate follows the lines of Lightfoot’s chronology, which Robertson supports. More recent schemes would move the date back to 56 A.D.

With confidence we may name Corinth as the place of writing. (ISBE)

A valid question does exist concerning the identity of the recipients of this letter. Paul simply addressed it “to all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints” (Rom 1:7); he did not address it to “the church in Rome.” That a church did exist in Rome is obvious, because Paul sent greetings to the church that met in the home of Aquila and Priscilla (16:5). Probably several churches were in Rome; perhaps this multiplicity of churches is why Paul addressed the letter to “the saints” instead of to “the church.” (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

As to Rome itself, we may picture it at the date of the Epistle as containing, with its suburbs, a closely massed population of perhaps 800,000 people; a motley host of many races, with a strong oriental element, among which the Jews were present as a marked influence, despised and sometimes dreaded, but always attracting curiosity. (ISBE)

Many of the founders of the Roman church were Jewish Christians (Acts 2:10). But sometime in the 40 s A.D., the emperor Claudius, like the earlier emperor Tiberius, expelled the Jewish community from Rome (see Acts 18:2 and the Roman historians Suetonius and Dio Cassius). The Roman church was thus composed entirely of Gentiles until Claudius’s death, when his edict was automatically repealed, and Jewish Christians returned to Rome (Rom 16:3). Jewish and Gentile Christians had different cultural ways of expressing their faith in Jesus; Paul thus must address a church experiencing tension between two valid cultural expressions of the Christian faith [(Jews and Gentiles)]. (IVP Bible Background Commentary)

Paul was about to close his work in Asia (15:19) and go to Jerusalem with his love gift from the churches of Asia (15:25-26). His heart’s burden had always been to preach at Rome, and this long letter was his way of preparing the Christians for his coming. While at Corinth (Acts 20:1-3) he also wrote his letter to the Galatians, seeking to answer the Judaizers who were confusing the churches of Galatia. Paul may have wanted to warn and teach the Christians at Rome lest these Judaizers arrive there before him and upset his plans. Note that in Rom 3:8 he mentions false accusations certain men had made about him. Paul’s reasons, then, for the letter may be summarized as follows:

(1) To prepare the Christians for this planned visit, and to explain why he had not visited them sooner (1:8-15; 15:23-29).

(2) To instruct them in the basic doctrines of the Christian faith lest false teachers upset them.

(3) To explain the relationship between Israel and the church, lest the Judaizers lead them astray with their doctrines.

(4) To teach the Christians their duties to one another and to the state.

(5) To answer any slander about Paul (3:8).

(Warren Wiersbe)

Romans was written to protect the Christians from the false teachers who were trying to confuse them. The most effective way to overthrow the work of false teachers is to preach doctrinal truth carefully and persistently, point by point, and that is what we see in Romans. (ISBE)

The book of Romans is an orderly presentation of the gospel, of the way of salvation. It answers the great question, “How can a man be righteous before God?” The terms “righteous,” “righteousness,” and “justify” are used at least 49 times. Romans is the first place that we should look for the doctrine of salvation. The proper method of Bible study is to develop doctrine from clear doctrinal passages and then interpret the less clear with this teaching in mind. False teachers, on the other hand, often develop their doctrines from parables and from passages that are not clear or are not directly addressing that particular doctrine.

Romans is written to give new Christians a doctrinal basis for their faith. It covers many important doctrines point by point in an orderly fashion. Following are some of the doctrines covered: salvation, sin, death, law, sanctification, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, prayer, suffering, baptism, resurrection, God’s will, Christian living, Christian service, Israel, prophecy. It deals with important doctrinal terms such as justification, gospel, propitiation, hope, faith, grace, sin, mercy, peace, adoption, holiness, foreknowledge, predestination, election,glory, kingdom of God, mystery.

(David Cloud)

Romans is the first epistle in the NT. You will note that the order of the NT letters follows 2 Tim 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for. . .”:

Doctrine – Romans (the great doctrinal book)

Reproof – 1 and 2 Corinthians (where Paul reproves sin)

Correction – Galatians (where Paul corrects false teaching)

Instruction in righteousness – Ephesians and Paul’s remaining letters (where Paul teaches holy living based on Christian doctrine)

(Warren Wiersbe)